Statistics Canada released January retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales decreasing from December by 2.1% to C$347.2 million. December was revised substantially lower from the previously reported C$382.4 million. The sales were up 24.2% from a year ago, up from the 19.3% December growth rate, an all-time low:
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$354 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating February sales to be 7.3% lower, which would be 6.7% below the actual January level and up 24% from a year ago.
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 8% from December and 57% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was down 7% from December and up 5% from a year ago. Quebec was down 14% from December and 2% from a year ago, while British Columbia was down 5% from December as it advanced 24% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have seen a shift towards flower products, which it estimates at 29.5% in January compared to a record 30.0% in December, when edibles got a bump due most likely to the holidays. In February, Hifyre estimates that non-flower products decreased to 29.2%, with a reduction in vape driving the change.
The February sales data will be released on April 22nd.