Quebec cannabis retail monopoly SQDC posts CA$94.9 million annual net income

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The Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC), the monopoly retailer of legal recreational cannabis in Canada’s second-most-populous province, reported a net income of 94.9 million Canadian dollars ($71 million) for its fiscal year ended March 25.

Government-owned cannabis ventures such as the SQDC are Canada’s most profitable regulated marijuana businesses, MJBizDaily has reported.

The SQDC’s CA$94.9 million net income represents a 25.4% increase over the previous fiscal year.

“To this can be added the government revenues generated by (the SQDC’s) operation in the form of consumer and excise taxes, estimated at CA$193.8 million, with CA$137.8 million going to Quebec and CA$56.0 million to the federal government,” the SQDC noted in a Monday news release.

“The SQDC’s total contribution to the Quebec treasury is therefore $232.7 million.”

SQDC cannabis sales for the 2022-23 fiscal year totaled CA$601.9 million, a negligible increase from the previous year’s CA$600.5 million.

On a national level, Canada’s adult-use cannabis market grew nearly 18% from 2021 to 2022 to more than CA$4.5 billion.

“After four years of sustained expansion of its sales network, the SQDC has now reached a plateau in its growth,” according to the provincial retail monopoly.

That plateau came despite the SQDC’s addition of 10 new retail stores during the fiscal year.

The monopoly retailer attributed the sales plateau “largely” to an ongoing labor dispute with workers at 24 of the chain’s locations represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Those stores are open on reduced schedules, the SQDC said.

An agreement with workers represented by another union was ratified in June 2022.

Compared to other provinces, the SQDC operates relatively few stores to serve Quebec’s population, which is estimated to be approaching 8.8 million.

The retailer has 98 brick-and-mortar locations open to date.

The SQDC said it will be implementing a new strategic plan over the next three years.

According to the SQDC, the plan “will enable the company to continue actively carrying out its mission of migrating consumers age 21 and older from the illicit market to the legal market while maintaining a focus on health protection.”