In an effort to persuade Quebecers to stop buying black-market pot, the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) will soon be offering same-day marijuana delivery right to your door. The province’s government-owned cannabis stores have partnered with an unnamed delivery company to offer the new service sometime in July, though the exact date is still to be confirmed, SQDC spokesperson Fabrice Giguere told MTL Blog in an email. The new system is being tested in Montreal and will be rolled out in the Greater Montreal Area if it is successful, he said.
After selling over $311 million worth of cannabis and accessories last year and opening 28 new stores, for a grand total of 41, the SQDC is hoping the new delivery service will help it tame the province’s black market marijuana trade.
Street weed, after all, is still illegal, but that doesn't stop Quebecers from buying 150 tons of the stuff a year, according to Giguere, which was more than three times the 47 tons they bought from the SQDC.
In response, the government is planning sweeping changes to an industry that has been operated by criminals until recently.
It has big plans for the province’s pot market and is hoping to capture 75% of it by 2023, according to the company's 2021-2023 strategic plan.
To do that, the SQDC is counting on a combination of competitive pricing, an array of new products, and more stores.
Citing Statistics Canada, the report states that the average price of cannabis in Quebec is about 20% lower than the Canadian average.
“The SQDC strives to find the right price, one that is attractive enough to convert customers of the illicit market, without encouraging or increasing consumption,” it states.
The organization is pouring money into product development after signing several new agreements with cannabis suppliers this year.
It now offers about 200 different products including edibles, extracts, cannabis-infused beverages, and plain old-fashioned pot.
It’s also got its online store, which was visited about 592,000 times per month this year.
The company generated a net profit of $26.3 million last year, which was almost 30% higher than projected, making the SQDC one of the most profitable government-run organizations in the province.
“The profits generated will be reinvested in particular in research, education, and prevention of harm in cannabis,” the report states.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when all non-essential businesses and services in the province were shut down and even the SAQ was limiting its operations, the SQDC was allowed to remain open, though some stores closed on Sundays.
Giguere said this was done for reasons of public health, as it was safer to prevent consumers from going on the black market by “offering them a safe shopping environment."
SQDC stores are now back to their regular hours.