With website closure, Yukon completes handover of cannabis retail sales to private sector

| David Brown

As of October 17, 2022, the Yukon Liquor Corporation’s Cannabis Yukon website will no longer sell cannabis products to Yukoners.

The Government of Yukon announced today that the Yukon Liquor Corporation’s Cannabis Yukon website is now closed, leaving cannabis e-commerce to private licence holders.

The announcement—which comes on the four-year anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada and of the launch of the Cannabis Yukon website—notes the website is being re-purposed to provide wholesale purchasing options to the Yukon’s licensed retailers.

In May 2022, Yukon’s government introduced new regulations that allowed Yukon cannabis stores to sell and deliver cannabis. This latest move to shut down the provincial website is the final piece of moving these online sales and delivery to the private sector. 

“I am pleased to fulfill our commitment to transfer all cannabis retail, including online sales, to the Yukon’s private, licensed retailers,” said the minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corporation, Ranj Pillai. “The Yukon’s cannabis industry continues to see year-over-year growth and I look forward to seeing the industry continue to thrive, responsibly serve Yukoners, and contribute to our territory’s economy.”

There are currently six licensed cannabis retailers open in the Yukon, and one federally licensed producer. The list of retailers can be found here. In October 2019, the Yukon closed its flagship cannabis retail store, handing over the brick-and-mortar cannabis market to the private sector. 

Revenue in the 2021-2022 fiscal year for Yukon was $7,091,000, up from more than $6 million worth of cannabis in 2020, with profits of $1.4 million, up from $1.2 in the previous year.

Yukon sold more than $5.8 million worth of cannabis products from 50 different producers in the most recent fiscal year. Flower sales in 2021-2022 were worth over $5 million (723 kg, up from 580 kg in the year prior), extracts were nearly $1.5 million, and edibles were over $500,000. There were 408 cannabis seeds sold, worth $2,711.

YLC sales to licensees and through e-commerce. Image via Cannabis Yukon.

Total sales without GST were $7,091,758. Online sales through Cannabis Yukon were $2,407. Wholesale sales to retailers were $7,089,351.

Operating expenses declined in 2021-2022 from the year prior, from $942,000 in 2020-2021 to $892,000 in 2021-2022, due primarily to declines in expenses related to travel, telecommunications, I.T., bank charges, office supplies, board honoraria, and e-commerce support, as well as the depreciation and amortization of assets.

The number of visits to emergency departments associated with cannabis use was up in 2021 to 114, from 87 in 2020 and 107 in 2019. However, the number of hospitalizations associated with cannabis use declined from 33 and 34 in 2019 and 2020 to 17 in 2021.

Featured image via Triple J’s Canna Space, a cannabis retailer in Whitehorse, YK