THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
MONTREAL – Two years ago, to the day, the use of cannabis for recreational purposes was legalized in Canada.
The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau argued that the prohibition of this drug had only served to enrich organized crime. The regulation of its production, distribution and sale was intended to redirect Canadians to safer sources of supply.
The provinces were nevertheless able to adopt their own rules and Quebec took the hard line with, among other things, a minimum age raised to 21 years to obtain cannabis legally.
The Quebec government also chose to sell the substance in state-run stores.
After a start marked by empty shelves and stock shortages, the Société québécoise du cannabis believes that it has now turned the page on these problems. By offering more than 200 products in store, its president and chief executive officer, Jean-François Bergeron, believes that the crown corporation has already snatched nearly half of the black market.
In an interview with The Canadian Press earlier this week, Bergeron said he planned to meet the goal of paying a dividend of $ 50 million into state coffers by the end of the fiscal year.
The big boss of the state company believes that it may even be possible to reach 75% of the illicit market in two years.
The SQDC estimates its market share by estimating that approximately 150 million grams of marijuana are consumed in one year in Quebec.
The network of 46 stores is expected to grow to around 70 points of sale by the end of the fiscal year in March, before reaching nearly 100 establishments by 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has temporarily paralyzed activity on the construction sites in the spring, slowed the opening of branches, but the SQDC is working hard to make up for lost time.