Thursday, June 13, 2024

County bucks NSLC alcohol, cannabis buying trend

  • November 1 2023
  • By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH — Guysborough County may not be averse to letting the good times roll, but the most recent provincial liquor and cannabis stats suggest that residents, on the whole, partake in social lubricants only in moderation.

“When we look at Guysborough County, specifically – which includes corporate stores in Canso, Guysborough, Mulgrave and Sherbrooke – net sales [$1,291,380] are down for beverage alcohol and cannabis [by] 6.7 per cent, compared with last year [$1,384,518],” said Terah McKinnon – a senior communications advisor to Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation – about the provincial Crown’s latest quarterly results, in an email to The Journal on Oct. 27.

What’s more, “You will also see that net sales for cannabis are down 1.5 per cent [to $84,281] and beverage alcohol net sales are also down 7.1 per cent [to $1,207,099],” for the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2023, compared with the year-earlier period.

The results seem to indicate that Guysborough County residents’ inclination to imbibe or consume NSLC’s variety of “beverage alcohol” or cannabis offerings seems to be dropping, relative to their fellow Nova Scotians.

They bought $242 million worth of wine, beer, sprits and cannabis from NSLC stores and agency outlets during the second quarter of 2023, compared with $239 million in Q2 2022. “[Revenue] was up 1.2 per cent, [while] earnings increased 0.6 per cent to $83.3 million,” a NSLC news release stated.

Second-quarter results also showed an increase in most sales channels, with a 2.7 per cent increase in sales to bars, restaurants and pubs; a 1.7 per cent increase in NSLC retail stores and a 0.1 per cent increase in independently owned agency stores.

Notably, “Sales growth of Nova Scotia beverage alcohol products was led by locally produced beer, with a 5.1 per cent increase to $9.1 million,” the NSLC release said. “Cannabis led the growth of Nova Scotia products overall, with a 19.6 per cent increase to $10.3 million. Other local product sales results included ready-to-drink products (down 0.7 per cent to $11.2 million); wine (down 4.9 per cent to $5.2 million); and spirits (down 5.1 per cent to $3.3 million).