Provinces raked in revenue on day one of cannabis sales
Published Thursday, October 18, 2018 4:03PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:00PM EDT
Even with only a handful of stores open in each province, some provincial governments raked in revenue from cannabis on the first day of legal recreational sales.
Quebec’s Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis (SQC) reports that its dozen provincially-run retail locations had customers waiting up to four hours to buy its products. There were 12,500 in-person transactions in the first 15 hours, the SQC says.
The SQC also made 30,000 transactions online, a volume of orders that it says “far exceeded” expectations. The SQC is warning of a possible shortage of oils, gels, sprays and pre-rolled joints as result.
The SQC says online customers can expect delays of up to five days, over and above the expected two to five-day delivery time, due to the high volume of sales and a possible Canada Post strike.
In Nova Scotia, where sales are handled by the government-owned Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, there were 12,810 transactions at its dozen brick-and-mortar locations and its online shop. NSLC says that amounted to $660,000 in revenue, including $47,000 sold online.
In British Columbia, only a single legal retail shop was open on Wednesday. The B.C. government says the store in Kamloops recorded 795 transactions. Meanwhile, B.C.’s online cannabis shop received 9,137 orders.
In Prince Edward Island, where the government has opened three stores plus an online shop, total sales on the first day were more than $152,000 after tax, or about $1 per person in the province. Just under $21,000 of the day one sales were made online.
In Alberta, the government’s online store processed 8,300 orders as of 3:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday. That totaled about $730,000. Alberta’s physical stores are run privately. Nineteen stores opened in the province Wednesday. The province expects there to be about 250 stores within one year.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Cannabis Store refused to release figures, saying only that there has been a “high volume of orders” and that the website is “performing well with no issues to report.” Private brick-and-mortar stores are expected to open in Ontario next spring.
Cannabis New Brunswick also said it would not share numbers.
Cannabis sales are taxed at $1 per gram or 10 per cent of a product price, whichever is higher. Provincial governments receive 75 per cent of the tax with 25 per cent going to the federal government. The federal portion is capped at $100 million per year.
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV Montreal