The SQDC Is Cashing In on Cannabis in Québec


Dec. 12 2019, Published 8:03 a.m. ET

The SQDC (Société Québécoise du Cannabis) recorded huge profits in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. The government corporation got its start more than a year ago and reported revenue of almost $180 million in its first 12 months. It’s since been a growing source of revenue for the province of Québec.

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Second-quarter financials

SQDC recorded $63.8 million worth of fiscal 2020 second-quarter revenue. Of this, $58.3 million came from its 20 retail stores, and $5.3 million came from online sales. It also recorded a profit of $5 million. During this period, the Québec government levied $17 million in taxes. For the first half of its fiscal year, the SQDC recorded revenue of $108.7 million and a profit of $6.3 million. The company also paid $30 million in tax to the government.

SQDC also added four new stores in the province to its network. These new stores are located in Sherbrooke, Saint-Jérôme, Montréal, and Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. The company also expects to increase its store count to 30 by the end of its third quarter. It sold 8,641 kg worth of cannabis in the second quarter. Its average selling price stands at $8.39 per gram.

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SQDC and its growth

The SQDC was established in 2018. It’s a subsidiary of the Québec government set up to distribute adult-use cannabis products in the province. The company works to provide quality products to protect the health and safety of its customers. Its long-term goal is to reduce the black market in the province. Its profits will be used for cannabis research.

The corporation faced major supply shortages and cut down its working days to four in its initial days. However, Québec recorded the highest sales among the provinces in terms of value and volume in the first month of operations. Even though the whole country had supply issues, the SQDC signed several supply agreements to face up to demand. The corporation initially opened 12 stores and set up an online system. Currently, it has 20 stores and plans to expand its network to 30.

Recent update on Québec’s marijuana laws

Last month, Québec increased the legal age for consuming cannabis to 21. This new rule will be applicable starting on January 1, 2020. It’s by far the strictest in Canada, as the legal age for using cannabis is 19 in other provinces. This change is aimed at educating teenagers about the health risks associated with cannabis use.

In a recent announcement, the SQDC said it would start selling edibles only in January 2020, as it wants time to ensure everything is set up properly. Stores will sell only cannabis-infused beverages and hash at first. The province also announced that it will not sell vapes as of now.


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