Iqaluit store accounts for two-thirds of liquor board sales: report

The Nunavut Alcohol and Cannabis Commission collected a total of $ 16.1 million in revenues for 2018-19, according to its most recent annual report.

The Iqaluit beer and wine store, which opened in 2017 as part of a three-year pilot project, accounted for 67% of those sales.

The beer and wine store also sold nearly a million liters of beer and wine during this period.

And $ 10.39 million worth of beer was sold in the territory last year, 94% of which was local beer.

Several changes were also made to store operations in 2018, including changes to daily limits for customers. Originally, customers were allowed to purchase up to 12 bottles or cans of beer and two bottles of wine per day.

Now there is a ratio of six beers to a bottle of wine. This means 24 beers or four bottles of wine per person per day. This could be combined to make 18 beers and one bottle of wine, or 12 beers and two bottles of wine, or six beers and three bottles of wine.

Cambridge Bay and Rankin Inlet held plebiscites in 2017 about opening a store in their communities. Both communities voted to open stores, 83.1% in Cambridge Bay and 74.6% in Rankin Inlet.

“The GN and the NULC are aware of the interest of these communities but, as of March 2019, had no plans to open additional stores as the Iqaluit store is only halfway through. its pilot project, ”the report says.

Nunavut’s first brewery, the Nunavut Brewing Company, opened in Iqaluit in 2018. To support the new brewery, the commission changed its pricing system so that customers pay less for NuBrew products.

“By reducing general markups on small breweries and recognizing the local advantage of delivering direct to the warehouse, NULC charges markups and fees of $ 1.60 / liter less on NuBrew beer than on others. beers (about $ 18.16 less per pack of 24). It helps the brewery get more from its sales, ”the report says.

The commission returned $ 4.5 million in profits to the Government of Nunavut, the report said.

Inuit employment at the Alcohol and Cannabis Commission of Nunavut was 79 percent in March, with 19 out of 24 Inuit employees in total, the report said.

Territory’s cannabis sales below expectations

The federal government legalized cannabis in Canada in October 2018.

As of spring 2019, Nunavummiut aged 19 and over can only purchase cannabis online through two commission agents: Canopy Growth Corp. and AgMedica Bioscience Inc., according to the report.

For every gram of cannabis sold in Nunavut by commission agents, the commission was awarded a mark-up of $ 4.

But cannabis sales were well below initial forecasts for the five and a half months of sales in 2018-19, totaling 6.6 kilograms, the report said. The commission earned approximately $ 27,000 in margins on these sales.

“With supply issues persisting across the country, it has been difficult to attract agents to dedicate their resources to the relatively small Nunavut market. These challenges were amplified by Nunavut’s online-only model which required agents to have their own sales portal, and by Nunavut’s language laws, ”the report says.

The Nunavut Department of Finance is responsible for regulating private retail sales in the territory.

“Even when retail stores open in Nunavut, NULC plans to continue our current online model to ensure that all major Nunavummiut have access to legal cannabis,” the report said.

Community impacts

As part of the Iqaluit Beer and Wine Store Pilot Project, the GN is monitoring community impacts through the Department of Finance’s Beer and Wine Store Monitoring Working Group.

The Department of Health, the City of Iqaluit and the Department of Family Services noted no significant impact from the store opening.

The Department of Family Services, however, said it had “heard anecdotal reports from shelters that there was an increase in alcohol consumption among their clients.”

The RCMP reported a “marginal increase in alcohol-related police records since 2017, but that this increase does not reflect a significant change.”

The Nunavut Housing Corp. noted “an increase in tenant damage to social housing and GN staff quarters since the store opened.” NHC did not provide data to the commission regarding damage before and after the store opened, the report said.

Last year, the commission spent $ 519,000, or 11% of its revenue, on social responsibility campaigns, the report notes.

The Commission Let’s be aware / Ujjiqsuqta Campaign promotes socially responsible messaging through social media, community visits, training sessions and more to help reduce the potential harms caused by alcohol.

The commission also conducted a survey at the Iqaluit store in 2018, which was completed by 787 people.

Although the report only offers a snapshot of the survey results, it notes that 43 percent of people felt the store had a positive impact on them, while 41 percent said it had a positive impact on them. negative impact.

Regarding the store’s impact on the community, 32 percent said it had a positive impact and 28 percent said it had a negative impact.


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Romona L. Lopez

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