Ontario’s provincially-run cannabis distributor is set to lose $25 million in the current fiscal year, according to projections in the 2019 budget released by Queen’s Park on Thursday.
The losses are the result of its initial investment in developing a wholesale distribution network, combined with the fact that OCS has sold relatively little product so far — which the provincial Progressive Conservative government blames on the federal Liberals.
The OCS is facing “a national cannabis supply shortage brought on by the federal government’s mismanagement,” the budget document says.
“By choosing to throw open the doors to cannabis legalization without first taking into account the reliability and sustainability of the national cannabis supply, the federal government is failing to curb the growth of the illegal cannabis market while also creating widespread business uncertainty for the people and businesses seeking to make a living in this new industry.”
The budget document predicts the OCS will turn profitable next year, earning a net income of $10 million. It sees profits rising to $40 million annually by the 2021-22 fiscal year.