Government-run cannabis stores in Quebec, New Brunswick post profits

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The government-run cannabis store operators for Quebec and New Brunswick reported quarterly profits for the periods ended Jan. 2, 2021, and Dec. 27, 2020, respectively.

Quebec’s Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) posted net income of 23.3 million Canadian dollars ($18.1 million) in its latest quarter, according to three- and nine-month financial results released Monday.

The government-owned business posted sales of CA$173 million in the third quarter ended Jan. 2, 2021, “largely attributable to its retail deployment plan,” according to a news release. That is CA$62 million more than the same period one year ago.

The SQDC opened 23 new stores in 2020, including 11 points-of-sale in the quarter.

Net income was CA$48.1 million through the first 40 weeks of its fiscal year.

Sales continued to take place mostly in stores.

Of the 28,254 kilograms (62,300 pounds) of cannabis sold from Sept. 13, 2020, to Jan. 2, 2021, only 8% – or 2,075 kilograms – was sold online.

The SQDC’s online business reached CA$13.8 million in sales versus in-store sales of CA$159.2 million.

The retailer said it plans to extend same-day delivery beyond the Montreal and Laval regions this year.

Meanwhile, neighboring New Brunswick sold CA$19.3 million of adult-use cannabis products in the Sept. 28-Dec. 27 quarter.

The provincially owned and operated Cannabis NB saw a profit of CA$2.8 million in the quarter, it said in January.

Online sales represented only 1.6% of revenue for the quarter.

The province still has not made a decision on its plan to privatize cannabis sales in the province.

New Brunswick originally envisioned executing an agreement around July 3, 2020, but Cannabis NB’s successive profitable quarters since then might have given the government second thoughts.

The province is in late-stage negotiations with a private-sector company, CBC News reported.