Study: MJ monopolies cut government revenue

A private system of retailing cannabis would open up “unprecedented business opportunities” and generate more revenue for Alberta’s government than a publicly owned monopoly, according to a local business group.

A private model based on the province’s liquor system – which is overseen by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) – avoids the expense of creating and maintaining a public retail system, according to a report by the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

In a news release, the chamber compared Alberta’s private retail model for liquor to Ontario’s 650 government-owned retail outlets to answer two questions:

  • Which system is more efficient, public or private?
  • Which system generates more profit per liter?

For each bottle of liquor sold, without a single government-owned retail store, Alberta realizes 26% more revenue than Ontario does, the chamber contended.

A battle is being waged in Canada’s provinces over who should sell recreational marijuana – civil servants or private citizens – and so far, civil servants are coming out on top.

Alberta and Manitoba’s decision to allow private retail represents a sharp turn from plans by Ontario and New Brunswick to sell recreational marijuana through government-owned stores.

Quebec also is expected to go with a government-run approach.

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