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MB Cannabis Sales Up 56% in 2021

According to Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL), revenues from Cannabis Operations increased $28.7 million from last year, accounting for a 56% increase. In the year ended March 31, 2020, revenue totalled $51.4 million, but in the year ended March 31, 2021, total revenue reached $80.1 million.

By the Numbers

This year, MBLL ended up reporting its net profit from cannabis operations at $14.1 million, or about 18% of revenue. According to the report, the remaining 82% of the revenue went towards the cost of sales ($64.5 million) and operating costs ($1.48 million). Still, net profit increased nearly 97% over the past year. In 2019-2020, MBLL’s net profit came out to almost $7.2 million, only 14% of revenue.

During that time, Manitoba also gained 42 new retailers, putting the province’s store count up to 71 at the end of March.

These new retailers helped with the growth of sales and the growth of new product categories. Despite dried flower’s decrease in market share by 14.1%, revenue from this category increased by $13.3 million. Edibles saw a modest increase in market share, earning $3.9 million in sales, but extracts were the shining star this year, going from garnering 4.8% of the market share to 17.0%, garnering $11.1 million more in sales than the year before. Even the brand new category of topicals brought in $0.3 million, or 0.4% of the market share, in its first year.

Pandemic Response

Like many provinces, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manitoba declared cannabis retail an essential service. Unlike some other provinces, however, Manitoba allows for online sales and delivery for cannabis retailers, making it easy for Manitobans to continue purchasing cannabis as usual, even if they couldn’t get to the store due to COVID-related issues.

During the first stages of COVID lockdowns, Delta 9, Manitoba’s largest producer and retailer of cannabis, supported its staff by not only increasing wages for a limited time to help employees keep afloat but also by hiring more staff so that no one would be worn too thin. Recently, Delta 9 has also offered incentives for Manitobans to get vaccinated.

While, comparatively, Manitoba’s cannabis retail footprint is fairly small, MBLL says that Cannabis Operations is committed to supporting retailers and working with suppliers to offer better availability and variety of products.