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P.E.I. alcohol sales still strong in cannabis-friendly marketplace

Changes to P.E.I.'s liquor laws, which come into effect Saturday, will allow for a simplified approval process for permitting underage entertainers in licensed establishments.
The P.E.I. liquor commission has been keeping an eye on its sales since cannabis legalization and noted any changes will likely come once cannabis edibles also become legalized. - 123RF Stock Photo
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

P.E.I. Liquor Commission officials haven’t seen a decrease in sales since the legalization of cannabis in October.

Jamie MacLeod, director of corporate services, said he’s not surprised since it’s so early in the game.

“We’d be best served to look at the full year,” MacLeod advised.

He added the liquor commission has been keeping an eye on the situation since cannabis legalization and noted any changes will likely come once edibles also become legalized.

From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, liquor sales revenues were up by 2.05 per cent and the volume sold was up 0.54 per cent over 2017, which is “in line with objectives,” said MacLeod.

Actual sales figures for 2018 are $2.8 million, up over $600,000 from 2017.

The commission hasn’t adapted its marketing to compete with cannabis sales, especially since the cannabis industry is still evolving in Canada.

It’s too premature to understand the impact, said MacLeod.

The liquor commission has been watching other markets in the U.S. to anticipate possible changes in the marketplace, but MacLeod noted it’s not a direct comparison.

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