On November 1, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal hosted a talk with Jacques Farcy, President and CEO of the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC).
Mr. Farcy reflected on the organization’s last four years, its challenges to meet consumer expectations and its desire to build on a specific organizational model.
A public health mission
In his opening remarks, Jacques Farcy stressed the importance of SQDC’s mission and its raison d’être in public health policies in Quebec.
“Our mission is to turn consumers into SQDC customers, without increasing consumption or stimulating the market.”
– Jacques Farcy, President and CEO, SQDC
This guideline governs the SQDC’s overall direction, from leadership choices to field operations.
“When I arrived, I spent four days at a store to get to know our teams better. I learned how crucial our mission was and how it was a source of motivation for our employees.”
Continuous learning for the organization
The past four years have been a continuous learning process for the SQDC as it operates in a new market in Quebec.
“There was a learning culture in how to market the SQDC and how get to know our customers. We want to closely monitor our industry and innovations, as well as promote production in Quebec. Today, more than half of our suppliers are from Quebec.”
This culture is also reflected in terms of talent management within the government-owned company.
“We seek to cultivate talent by investing heavily in training. Our goal is for all of us to have a common framework and a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities in our market.”
Outperforming the black market with a competitive offer
One of the challenges faced by the SQDC involves gaining a competitive advantage over the black market that consumers were long accustomed to.
“Our customers want simplicity and efficiency. We make sure to strike a balance between price and quality that’s superior to the black market.”
In addition to ensuring easy and secure transactions, the SQDC has also positioned itself to provide its customers with a diverse range of traceable products.
“We have a vast selection of over 450 products. With most of our supply coming from Quebec, we make a strong case to consumers and we see them stepping up.”
Jacques concluded by referring back to the SQDC’s long-term objectives:
“We’re not perfect and there’s still a long way to go. Our goal today is to keep listening to consumers, develop our ability to compete as a retailer, and ensure the well-being of our teams.”