The SQDC contributed $258.8 million to Quebec in 2023

| David Brown

The Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) reports $662.1 million in sales for the fiscal year ending March 30, 2024, with a net income of $104.1 million.

On top of this, the province reported $154.7 million in tax revenues from its operations in the form of consumption and excise taxes, and contributed $62.6 million to federal coffers.

According to the agency’s most recent quarterly report, the SQDC’s contribution to the Quebec state amounts to $258.8 million with net income and taxes combined.

This is an increase from $232.7 in total revenue for Quebec in 2022-2023 from $94.9 million in net income and $77.8 million in the province’s share of excise taxes, along with $50 million in QST.

The province says revenue from sales and tax are entirely paid to the Ministry of Finance of Quebec, and intended in particular for prevention and research in cannabis and the fight against misdeeds linked to the use of psychoactive substances. This claim, however, has come under scrutiny recently.

For the fiscal year ending March 30, 2024, the SQDC reports selling 122,478 kg of cannabis, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year (106,626 kg in 2022-2023). The majority of these were dried flower (97,918 kg), while 24,560 kg were for other cannabis products.

The province estimates that this means the legal market in Quebec served 62.8% of the total cannabis market for 2023-2024, down slightly from 2021.

The 2023-2024 fiscal year also has 53 weeks compared to 52 weeks for 2022-2023.

The vast majority of the $662.1 million in sales were from brick-and-mortar SQDC stores, and just over $40 million were from the SQDC’s online portal.

The SQDC brought in a new president and CEO in 2023, Suzanne Bergeron, replacing Jacques Farcy.

“While our network of branches is now well established across all regions of Quebec, I have the pleasure of joining forces with our committed teams to offer our customers—the heart of our operations—support, simplicity, the quality/price ratio and the choice they seek, in compliance with our legal framework,” says Bergeron (translated). “Hand in hand, we worked this year to deploy new initiatives to better support and advise our customers, including the expansion of the 90-minute delivery coverage area as well as the new product offerings and new formats.”

Quebec has the highest age of access for cannabis in Canada at 21, and all sales are through the 98 provincially-run SQDC stores. All products sold in Quebec have a cap of 30% THC, including edibles and the limited amount of extracts available like hash. Quebec also does not allow people to grow cannabis at home (other than with medical authorization) and has a very limited array of edibles available for sale. 

Vapes coming to Quebec?

Cannabis vapes are not allowed in Quebec, although the most recent annual report appears to imply it may consider allowing those sales in the future to more effectively compete with the illicit market, considering the prevalence of these products in the illicit market in Quebec and elsewhere. The report notes (translated) this “well-established trend to which the SQDC cannot remain indifferent given its mission of converting the illegal market”.

“Malgré le fait que la SQDC ne vende pas de produits de vapotage de cannabis, selon l’Enquête québécoise sur le cannabis réalisée en 2023, 31 % des consommateurs et consommatrices de cannabis ont consommé ce type de produits, ce qui constitue une augmentation de 12 % par rapport à l’année dernière et, donc, une tendance bien installée à laquelle la SQDC ne peut rester insensible compte tenu de sa mission de conversion du marché illégal.”

A survey from the SQDC in 2023 showed that 31% of consumers have used a cannabis vape despite the products being banned in the province, an increase from 12% in the previous year. 

PEI is the only other province to currently ban the sale of cannabis vapes. Newfoundland and Labrador, which had previously banned cannabis vapes, began allowing their sale in 2022.

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