It was already an assumption that Canada was going to have a booming, country-wide cannabis market through their legal industry, but now the numbers prove that that assumption is a reality. Retail sales reached $185.9 million Canadian dollars this past May, according to Statistics Canada.
This is a new high for the country, and represents a 4.2 percent growth from April to May this year. Even though that window of time included many COVID-19 shutdowns for the industry and an unprecedented hard time for the North American economy in general, this is proof that things are still on an upward trajectory.
“We consider this performance resilient and robust as store closures lingered during May serving as a headwind to sales,” wrote the analysts, who think the Canadian market will exceed $2.4 billion in 2020 alone, a new record high. This implies a huge industry for the recently legalized country.
The numbers also reveal that a quarter of all sales occurred just in Alberta, showing that there is a clear imbalance of retail stores across the country, and that there is still a divide when it comes to who is allowing cannabis and who is not. Alberta, the fourth-largest province in Canada, has about 500 licensed cannabis dispensaries and accounts for nearly 25 percent of Canada’s cannabis sales, about $46.3 million as of April. So far, the province is leading the entire country in cannabis sales.
Sales Across Canada
In other provinces like Ontario, there still aren’t many dispensaries, and sales are still lagging a bit. However, even Ontario saw an increase in sales in May, as the numbers went up 2.2 percent to $4.1 million. This could be due to increase in demand during lockdown, and could also be a sign that the area will definitely need more places to shop.
In some provinces, however, sales went down, though not by much. Quebec saw sales dip down 6.1 percent to $38.5 million. Analysts at Stifel’s Carter and Growe attributed Quebec’s sales decrease to “some pantry de-loading as sales remained robust through the first two months of store closures, as well as the significant pricing compression on dried flower.” They also think sales could have been limited because of bans on products like edibles that are popular in other places.
However, the sales in every other province except New Brunswick increased during that time, bringing the overall total to represent a new high for the legal industry in Canada and setting the stage for future success.
While the entire country is not yet on board with legal cannabis, Canada is paving the way in their industry to show that legal cannabis can provide a huge source of wealth for countries who go all in and fully legalize. As even more provinces in the country open dispensaries, sales will continue to trend upward, and Canada will continue to provide a model of growth for the rest of the country. It is only a matter of time before others follow suit.