he union employees of the Societe des alcools du Quebec sees a good eye the possibility that recreational cannabis, once legalized, is sold at branches of the corporation. Its 5500 members asked the Institute to research and socio-economic information (IRIS) for them to conduct a study on the issue.
“We are not opposed [to the sale of cannabis], but it will eventually be to our members of Congress decide what our position on this, says Marc-André McSween, Union vice president of store employees and SAQ offices (SEMB-SAQ). For now, what we want to achieve is a study that will show us what the consequences. ”
The union may ask its members to adopt a clear position on it this spring, during their next meeting. “There is growing consensus that this market is reclaimed by the public sector. We have an ethics training sale, SAQ quality control with its laboratories. We see a connection between what we do now and commercialization of cannabis, “says Mr. McSween.
The SAQ provides his side have no plans to do so. “We made the collection of data on what is happening in the world, admits spokesman Jean-Vincent Lacroix, but it is clear that there is no orientation. Ultimately, it is the government giving guidelines. ”
Applications in British Columbia, Ontario and Manitoba
In its recent throne speech, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated its commitment to legalize and monitor the sale of recreational marijuana in the country, without specifying roadmap.
Last week, British Columbia, Government of the Union of Service Employees and the Association of private liquor stores, however, have taken the lead, jointly calling for marijuana to be sold only in Liquor Stores across the province. In Ontario, the chairman of the Employees Union of Public Employees, Warren Thomas, has also spoken publicly for the possibility that the LCBO gets the monopoly on the sale of recreational cannabis.
The Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger has also recommended in November that the sale of marijuana is done exclusively in liquor stores across the province.
In Quebec, Hydropothicaire, the only medical cannabis producer currently approved by Health Canada, also expressed support for that liquor stores are the exclusive distributors. “What is most important to us is that there is an age verification. These sales channels are already accustomed to. This would be the easiest and quickest way, “says its CEO, Sébastien St-Louis.
The private in the US
In Washington and Colorado, where the sale of marijuana has been legalized in the last two years, it is rather private businesses that ensure the sale of cannabis and derivatives. Vendors – called budtenders – absolutely must obtain a government license, issued to them only after a check of their criminal record. Liquor shops, which are also private, have no right to sell marijuana in any form whatsoever.
Medical cannabis market in Canada: $ 1.3 billion
Market estimated recreational cannabis: 8000000000 *
Number of SAQ: 400
Number of employees: 5500
In Washington State
Total sales in dollars since the legalization of cannabis (June 2014): 622 000 000
Taxes collected: 177 000 000
* According Hydropothicaire