Statistics Canada released August retail sales for the country, with cannabis sales rising from the strong July levels, up 3.9% to C$464.2 million, another new record for a month. July was revised higher to C$446.7 million. The sales, which fell 3.9% on a per-day basis, were up 19.1% from a year ago, down from the 13.7% July growth rate. In 2022, total sales increased 17.9% to C$4.52 billion, and they have increased 13.7% during the first eight months of 2023.
An increase in the number of stores as well as falling flower prices that bring consumers from the illicit market have been boosting sales. In Ontario, the largest province in population, sales were up 7.0% from July and up 22% from a year ago. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 0.1% from July and up 17% from a year ago. Quebec was up 2.7% from July and up 10% from a year ago, while British Columbia was up 4.1% from July as it advanced 25% from a year ago. Each of these provinces saw expanded year-over-year growth in August compared to July.
Hifyre IQ had forecast August sales at C$449.8 million based upon its data, so this was slightly below the estimate. The data analytics provider has been estimating September sales to be 3.9% lower, which would be 6.9% below the actual actual August level and up 10.2% from a year ago, based upon its data. Hifyre estimates sales outside of flower and pre-rolls at 29.5% in August and 29.5% in September.
The September sales data will be released on November 24th.