Ontario Cannabis Store expects CA$25 million loss despite monopoly advantage

(This story has been up to date to incorporate a press release from the Ontario Cannabis Store. – Ed.)

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is anticipating to lose 25 million Canadian dollars ($18.7 million) within the first full yr of the nation’s new adult-use market, although it had a monopoly on gross sales for the primary six months of legalization and retains everlasting management over all on-line transactions.

That’s on prime of the CA$6.eight million internet loss the OCS reported for the interval of Dec. 12, 2017, to March 31, 2018.

Ontario expects the government-owned hashish retailer to show a small revenue of CA$10 million in 2019-20.

The price range tasks income to rise to CA$25 million in 2020-21 and CA$40 million the next yr.

“The OCS net income forecast reflects initial costs for the development of its wholesale distribution channel,” in accordance with the price range.

One yr in the past, the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC) entered right into a hefty CA$150 million mortgage settlement with the Ontario Financing Authority to fund a plan to determine 40 authorities owned- and-operated hashish shops within the first yr of legalization.

The OCRC now operates because the OCS.

The mortgage covers OCS bills solely by means of Dec. 31, 2019, so a big top-up would have been wanted for the federal government to develop its community of hashish shops from 40 to 150 by 2020 – the earlier authorities’s plan.

The new authorities pulled the plug on that plan in favor of a privately owned community of adult-use marijuana shops.

By March 31, 2018, the OCS had drawn CA$25 million from the mortgage.

In response to questions from Marijuana Business Daily, the OCS stated the mortgage settlement with the Ontario Financing Authority stays lively despite the change in retail plans.

Meanwhile, in 2018 the OCS entered into preparations to lease premises for 4 of the primary government-run shops on five-year phrases.

Those shops won’t ever open.

The “minimum lease payments” began at CA$207,000 in fiscal 2019, rising to CA$355,000 in fiscal 2023.

Financial commitments to Ontario’s “cannabis warehouse” lease as of March 2018 have been $364,177 (fiscal 2019), $569,051 (2020) and $588,730 (2021).

The OCS maintains a monopoly over adult-use hashish wholesale within the province, and the warehouse is used as a key hub for on-line orders.

Ontario’s adult-use hashish gross sales have been abysmal up to now – owing principally to the truth that the primary brick-and-mortar shops didn’t open till April 1, 5½ months after legalization.

The OCS struggled to get a deal with on its enterprise within the weeks after legalization, leading to prolonged delivery delays and hundreds of buyer complaints.

Ontario was the one province in Canada to see decrease month-over-month gross sales of adult-use hashish from October to December – though gross sales did enhance barely to just about CA$9 million in January.

The hobbled rollout of retail shops in Ontario and British Columbia resulted in lots of publicly traded hashish corporations reporting disappointing quarterly earnings.

The Bank of Montreal warned buyers that adult-use hashish revenues throughout Canada might are available decrease than anticipated due to the sluggish build-out of retail shops, flat nationwide retail gross sales and stock depletion.

Nearly two dozen OCS staff agreed to unionize final month, making them the primary union members within the province’s hashish business.

Matt Lamers could be reached at [email protected]


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