Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Whitehorse Star

DAYS ARE NUMBERED – The Cannabis Yukon retail store on Industrial Road will close permanently on Oct. 17, exactly a year after it opened.

YG store reported $2 M in cannabis sales in five months

Cannabis Yukon and its affiliated e-commerce site reported a total of $2 million in cannabis sales in the first five months after legalization took place in October 2018.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 10, 2019

Cannabis Yukon and its affiliated e-commerce site reported a total of $2 million in cannabis sales in the first five months after legalization took place in October 2018.

The Yukon’s first annual cannabis report was presented to the legislature Monday by John Streicker, the minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corp.

The report encompasses April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

Of the $2 million in cannabis products sold, only $40,541 worth of transactions were made online. The rest was sold in the government’s Cannabis Yukon store on Industrial Road – approximately $1.7 million in cannabis flowers, $218,000 in oils, and the remainder in seeds and accessories.

The corporation is shifting solely into online retailing following the pending closure of Cannabis Yukon to make room for private enterprise, the report notes.

The Cannabis Yukon retail store will close permanently on Oct. 17, exactly a year after opening.

A new private cannabis retailer was the third to open in Whitehorse on Sept. 27.

There are currently two private cannabis stores in operation outside of Whitehorse, in Dawson City and Carmacks.

Three more private cannabis licences are currently under consideration by the board. If approved, two more will open in Whitehorse and one in Watson Lake.

Streicker noted in his statement that the corporation will continue to act as a wholesale distributor and regulator in addition to conducting education initiatives for the safe consumption of cannabis.

The document reports $2.9 million in total start-up costs in the 2018-19 year, the entirety of which was provided to the territory through a federal transfer payment.

Inventory absorbed approximately $1.2 million of the total start-up cost.

At the advent of legalization, the liquor corporation reported hosting a number of information sessions aimed to provide Yukoners with safe consumption options and up-to-date information on cannabis.

The corporation intends to continue education initiatives into the 2019-20 year.

Campaigns encouraging safe use and information access are planned through pamphleting, social media and in-store video screen messaging.

Be A Responsible Server-Cannabis, an online course, was also established. It’s mandatory for all retail staff working in cannabis sales.

The corporation reported a number of measures to prevent illicit sales of warehouse stock. These included video surveillance, secure storage and strict handling procedures.

All cannabis retail and warehouse staff are also required to have a criminal record check.

As the cannabis industry moves into privatization, licensees are required to demonstrate how they will keep cannabis secure through inventory management plans, including transportation and surveillance.

A Check 30 initiative was implemented in the Cannabis Yukon retail store.

Retailers are encouraged to ask for ID from buyers who look under 30 years of age, similar to the standard for alcohol sales.

The summarized financial results reported a total of $2.3 million in total liabilities and equity. The gross profit up to March 2019 was reported at $743,000.

Income from operations totalled approximately $1.4 million.

The report pulled from pre-legalization statistics to assess health indicators.

In 2015-16, 20.6 per cent of Yukoners aged 12 and older reported using cannabis in the past 12 months. The majority of these were aged 19-29.

Only five per cent of the Yukon population reported using cannabis daily that year.

Yukoners are more likely to use cannabis than Canadians in other parts of the country, according to the 2016 Canadian Community Health Survey. The Yukon reported almost twice the usage rate of Ontario and Alberta.

The report noted that students from rural communities were more likely to report a higher use of cannabis, compared to urban students.

Comments (14)

Up 0 Down 0

Wilf Carter on Oct 17, 2019 at 12:03 am

Will the minister put out independent facts on it making or losing money?
In Ontario they lost $42 million on government pot stores, NB lost $2 million and other provinces say they lost money.
60% of the people still buy from the black market.
Great plan.
But liberals are for not making money.

Up 11 Down 2

Obi on Oct 15, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Public service announcement! How to spot pot smokers on our highways.
A drunk driver will drive right through a stop sign.
A pot smoker will drive up to a stop sign, and wait for it to turn green.....

Up 12 Down 2

Michael Miller on Oct 14, 2019 at 3:46 pm

We were talking about this and they should have kept the store open for about 10 years. It produced both a revenue stream and good jobs.
It's kinda like a modern day tax, a head tax. So people who want to smoke pay a tax that benefits others which seems reasonable to me.

Up 22 Down 15

Dave on Oct 14, 2019 at 5:34 am

I’ve never smoked pot and would like to do a survey to find out how many others haven’t as well. If you’ve smoked pot downvote me, if you’ve never smoked pot upvote me.

Up 9 Down 1

Groucho d'North on Oct 13, 2019 at 10:41 am

@Snowman,
You're on the right track, regulations were indeed required before cannabis sales could begin, but legal pot was a promise of the Trudeau Liberals who dumped the hard work on the provinces and territories to create these regulations. So now there is a patchwork quilt of regulations concerning cannabis across the country, oh and Justin gave them a deadline of Oct 17, 2018 to have all this work completed. So there are still many bugs to be worked out yet.
In the next week leading up to the anniversary of legal cannabis in Canada - and a general election shortly following - I anticipate media will focus time and attention on what has worked well and what has not since implementation of these new pot laws. One thing that is obvious, Trudeau will take credit for the work of provincial governments and how they are displacing the black market pot dealers and similar talking points that cannot be proven with statistics.

Up 4 Down 5

Snowman on Oct 12, 2019 at 11:07 am

@What the. No, actually they couldn't have just let the private industry take it from the beginning since there were no bloody regulations. They had to be developed. Why don't people get that? It was either government run or nothing at all until the regs were drawn up.

Up 17 Down 5

What the...? on Oct 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm

I can't believe the government is patting themselves on the back for spending $3m in tax dollars (yes, even "Federal transfer payments" are taxpayer money), and then skyrocketing prices with markup, taxes and "cost of service" fees. They could have let the private industry handle the retail side while learning to manage supply and enforcement. When illicit prices are half that, how much of the black market do you suppose has been displaced by legal sales? Wasn't that one of the objects of legalization? If cannabis yukon sold $2m, the black market did $10m.

Up 24 Down 1

Yucanna on Oct 10, 2019 at 9:51 pm

The black market will thrive as long as the greedy government continues to add a 28% wholesale markup to products, just to store them in their warehouse.

Up 20 Down 15

JC on Oct 10, 2019 at 9:45 pm

Yeah, and these pot heads are all over our highways. Let's hope none of them ever get in the pilots seat.

Up 19 Down 0

Mandy on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

@Micheal Miller

YG is still the sole distributor for the Yukon. There is still a revenue stream. YG has only gotten out of the retail storefront part.

Up 13 Down 14

Juniper Jackson on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

Personally, I would not go near this stuff.. but I am not my brother's keeper, contrary to the number of people my income tax supports.. With this kind of money going into dope, it looks like a lean year for the Christmas charities.

Up 19 Down 4

YukonFilly on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm

I would rather profits go to the government to be used for programs and services, rather than the fat pockets of private owners.

Up 18 Down 12

Michael Miller on Oct 10, 2019 at 4:53 pm

It's unfortunate that they do not keep it going since it makes money that we can use for other things.

Up 27 Down 5

Groucho d'North on Oct 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm

"...The document reports $2.9 million in total start-up costs in the 2018-19 year, .." and $2 million in sales.
Good luck making an impact on the underground pot dealing business with that kind of margin.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.