Quebec consumes a lot of weed, in news that isn't surprising to most Quebecers. Jean-François Bergeron, president of the Société Québécoise Du Cannabis, reports that the SQDC has made over $40 million in profits, which amounts to about 35% of legal cannabis in Canada by weight. By comparison, Quebec represents a little over 20% of the Canadian population.
TL;DR Quebec currently consumes over a third of legal weed in Canada and the SQDC wants to keep expanding, despite the threat of new laws from the provincial government and their inability to keep up with demand.
Bergeron has gone on to say that this percentage, amounting to about 22.5 tons of cannabis, represents an estimated 15% of sales that would have otherwise gone to the black market. And the SQDC president wants to keep growing. He says "Notre objectif est de récupérer 30%. Nous aimerions éventuellement nous rendre à 70 %, mais ce ne sera pas avant cinq ans. Il faudra d'abord régler les enjeux d'approvisionnement" (Our objective is to recover 30%. Eventually, we would like to get to 70%, but that won't be for another five years. We will first have to deal with the supply-side issues").
There have been many issues with the supply of legal marijuana in Quebec. The SQDC is not able to keep up with demand, and is closed several days of the week for this reason. Furthermore, the average price of their products, about 7.27 per gram (including taxes), is still much higher than the average price on the Quebec black market, which is estimated at $5.50 per gram. Although, it is worth noting that SQDC prices are lower than the Canadian average by almost $3. This may be part of the reason that the operation still isn't profitable, though it hopes to be by 2020.
Quebec weed is notoriously inexpensive. According to Statistics Canada, Quebec has the cheapest marijuana prices per gram in Canada. In comparison, in the territories, the price of one gram of weed in the black market is $10.81.
Despite the threat of new laws from the provincial government, which might raise the legal age to 21 years old and preventing stores from opening near schools (which includes universities and cégeps), Bergeron is hoping to open new stores by the summer.
Does this news surprise you?