Private Retail Cannabis Will Help Alberta Succeed

Nov 09, 2017


November 9, 2017

With legalization fast approaching, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is urging the Province of Alberta to adopt a private retail model for selling cannabis.

A model based on Alberta’s successful liquor system, which is overseen by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), would avoid the expense of creating and maintaining a public retail system.

“A private retail model for cannabis will allow the Province to earn more while spending less and it will open up unprecedented business opportunities,” said Janet Riopel, President and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. “Going private will create jobs and support economic diversification. It will also give government additional revenue to help manage Alberta’s fiscal deficits and growing multibillion-dollar debt.”

Using data from Statistics Canada, the Edmonton Chamber compared Alberta’s liquor system to Ontario’s, where the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) operates over 650 government-owned retail outlets, and found that:

The AGLC generated $2.26 in profit per litre of liquor compared to the LCBO, which generated $1.80 per litre.
For each bottle of liquor sold, without a single government-owned retail store, Alberta realizes 26% more revenue than Ontario does.
The AGLC is much more efficient than the LCBO. For every dollar spent by the LCBO, Ontario makes only $2.26, whereas for every dollar spent by the AGLC, Alberta earns a return of $24.51.
“Alberta’s entrepreneurs are ready, willing and able to take on the risks and rewards associated with developing this new industry,” said Riopel. “We urge the Province to adopt a private system of retailing for cannabis. Private retail will benefit business, consumers and government. Let business do what it does best.”

For more information, read our policy, Preparing Alberta for the Legalization of Cannabis.

Media contact:

Sheila Keenan, Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Cell: 780-446-6264 Email: skeenan@edmontonchamber.com