Some Ontario cannabis stores to close doors by 2022: BMO analyst
Ontario's cannabis business is set to nearly triple its profits in the current fiscal year while netting a tidy sum from federal excise taxes, according to the province's Fall Economic Statement released Thursday.
Ontario said its Crown-owned Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC) will make a $155 million profit in the current fiscal year, compared to $67 million in the prior fiscal year. The OCRC made a profit of $19 million in fiscal 2019-20, its first year of profitability since cannabis was legalized in late 2018.
Ontario also said it will receive $185 million in excise tax revenue from the federal government in the current fiscal year, up from $105 million in the previous year. Provinces receive a share of excise taxes from the sale of cannabis products made within their respective borders, with the federal government netting the lion's share of that revenue.
The figures were revealed Thursday within the release of Ontario's Fall Economic Statement that showed the province is running a $21.5 billion deficit in the current fiscal year.
There are nearly 1,200 licensed cannabis stores open in Ontario, the largest amount among any province in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, Ontario sold $725.4 million worth of cannabis in 2020, while it sold $882.7 million in the first eight months of 2021.
However, Ontario's figures come out a day after BMO Capital Markets Analyst Tamy Chen released a report Wednesday suggesting the large amount of cannabis retail outlets in Ontario would see some underperforming stores close their doors in 2022, potentially resulting in lower market sales.