Provincial windfall from Ontario Cannabis Store seen rising to CA$170M

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Ontario’s monopoly cannabis wholesaler and online retailer, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), is forecasted to contribute 170 million Canadian dollars ($135 million) to provincial coffers for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, according to Ontario’s newly-released 2021 budget.

The government-owned corporation lost CA$42 million in the 2018-2019 fiscal year before posting a CA$19 million net income in 2019-2020.

The new budget, released Wednesday, projects net income of CA$70 million from the OCS for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, growing to CA$170 million the following fiscal year.

Other provincially-owned marijuana retailers in Canada, such as New Brunswick’s Cannabis NB and Quebec’s Société québécoise du cannabis, have also posted profits in recent quarters.

Separately, the Ontario budget projected revenue of CA$140 million from its portion of federal excise duties on cannabis production during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, growing to CA$245 million in 2021-2022.

In a recent report, the OCS estimated that legal marijuana sales in Ontario had captured more than 40% of the recreational marijuana market as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Ontarians spent CA$90 million on regulated adult-use cannabis in January, according to Statistics Canada retail sales data.