Quebec Plans to Open 20 New Marijuana Retail Locations by March 2020
The Société Québécois du Cannabis (SQDC) will be adding 20 more stores by March 2020, according to the Montreal Gazette. This will raise the number of stores from about 20 to a total of 43. SQDC president Jean-Francois Bergeron made this announcement during a luncheon set up by the Montreal Chamber of Commerce.
It is no secret that Quebec is the most restrictive province when it comes to legal cannabis, imposing new bans on certain edibles and toying with the idea of raising the minimum purchasing age to 21.
But despite resistance from government officials and a strong black market presence spanning the country, Quebec still managed to fair relatively well, given the circumstances.
“Just the Beginning”
Quebec’s legislators may not be very cannabis-friendly, but its consumers certainly are. According to the Montreal Gazette:
“The SQDC has executed more than 4 million transactions since its launch, according to Bergeron. That comes out to two sales per minute, with rush-hour peaks of up to six per minute. The SQDC sold 27 tonnes of marijuana during the last 12 months, equal to 60 full containers, ‘and that’s just the beginning,’ he promised.”
Sales have certainly ramped up since legalization – a common effect of having retail stores. Ontario, for instance, saw its cannabis revenue double in April after less than half of its 25 stores opened for business.
Shortly after legalization, Quebec suffered from the same problems as the rest of Canada – mainly supply issues. This forced them (like the rest of the country) to limit operating hours of their retail locations. Now, however, things are dramatically different:
“After getting off to a rough start because of supply problems — which forced the SQDC to cut operating hours to a few days per week through the month of May — things are looking up…Store shelves are always stocked, Bergeron said, with Quebec being one of the cheapest places to buy legal marijuana in the country. Prices in the province are 20 per cent below the national average, partly to remain competitive with the black market.”
Profits also showed a significant leap forward. The SQDC went from a $4.5 million deficit in the first quarter of 2019 and a $1.4 million profit in the second quarter. The Montreal Gazette states that the increased store hours – which are now seven days per week province-wide – had a major role to play.
Fighting the Black Market
With another 20 retail stores on the horizon, Quebecers can expect easier accessibility to cannabis. Consumers strongly prefer to visit a physical storefront rather than order marijuana online.
Furthermore, adding these extra locations will help cover a lot of “dry areas” where lack of accessibility drives people to the black market, simply out of convenience.
Add that to the fact that Quebec’s cannabis is much cheaper than in other provinces, this creates ideal conditions for consumers to fight the black market with their wallets.
Although 43 stores for the entire province definitely does not cover as much ground as necessary, it is still an improvement over the early days of legalization. Any industry analyst will agree that the initial rollout was an unmitigated disaster. If anything, Quebec’s recent announcement proves how far things have changed for the better.
WeedAdvisor’s Role in an Improving Cannabis Market
With the addition of 20 new retail stores in Quebec and a marked revenue increase, the province is but one example of the improving situation with legal cannabis.
Although things are much better, there is still room for improvement – something that is guaranteed to come with more time.
Meanwhile, WeedAdvisor’s business solutions for retailers – which include POS, inventory tracking, reporting, compliance, safety and more – will all help make daily functions more accurate and efficient as these businesses prepare for a brighter cannabis market.