Cannabis market proving costly for Alberta, no sign of turning a profit
Bringing legalized marijuana to market has proven costly for Alberta, with no sign it will turn a profit anytime soon. The UCP budget, tabled Thursday, projects cannabis income will remain negative over the next four years, despite previous estimates it would make the province money come 2020. Following a revenue loss of $34 million in 2018-19, further shortfalls are expected in each of the next four fiscal years: $31 million in 2019-20; $34 million in 2020-21; $24 million in 2021-22 and $25 million in 2022-23. The net income projections include retailer fees and sales revenue, minus administration and inventory costs, according to budget documents. The previous NDP budget forecast Alberta would lose $90 million over two years before scraping its way into the black with a net income of $37 million by 2020-21. However, the province said the updated numbers reflect weaker consumption than initially predicted following cannabis legalization in October 2018. Calgary has more cannabis stores than any other city in Canada at 66, and 156 additional locations have been approved. Edmonton is second with 48. Provincewide, the Alberta, Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) has approved 306 retail outlets, which is expected to increase to more than 500…
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