Article by Emma Spears, Growth Op
Better late than never.
At long last, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) has released its annual report, albeit almost a year after the conclusion of the fiscal year that it covers.
The report details the Crown corporation’s “formative actions, financial performance and significant accomplishments” from Apr. 1, 2018 to Mar. 31, 2019 — about six months before adult-use cannabis became federally legal and six months after, respectively.
Release of the report marks the first time the OCS has provided specifics with regard to its strategic directions and objectives, noting these are “aimed at ensuring that the agency takes a customer-focused, cautious and prudent approach to the opening of Ontario’s recreational cannabis marketplace.”
Those objectives, as listed in the report, are as follows:
- convert consumers from the illegal market;
- operate an education-first platform;
- deliver value for Ontario taxpayers; and
- offer a broad assortment of quality-tested cannabis products.
The company noted it is also in the process of developing a long-term strategic framework “to ensure that the agency is delivering on its commitments and achieving its targets.”
Despite the goals, however, the year was not a smooth one for the OCS. Shortly after a change in provincial government, the province walked back its plan to open an exclusively public retail model for a hybrid plan, resulting in a loss of about $9 million due to terminating multiple leases for previously planned retail locations.
Furthermore, the OCS lost about $50 million during its first two fiscal years.