Statistics Canada released February retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales growth decreasing sequentially. Sales of C$263 fell 5.9% from January (three fewer days), which had declined 6.0% from December levels, and rose 74.4% from a year ago. Note that the month was a day shorter than a year ago. This was the slowest year-over-year growth since adult-use sales commenced.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$260 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating March growth to be 18% above its February forecast (there are three more days in the month), which would be 16% higher than the actual February level and up 69% from a year ago.
The decrease in February, the second consecutive sequential decline, was due to the fewer number of days during the month. An increase in the number of stores as well as falling flower prices have been boosting sales in previous months. In Ontario, the largest province in population, sales were up 0.7%, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Compared to a year ago, sales gained 132%. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, fell over 8%, up 59.8% from a year ago. Quebec slipped 10%, while British Columbia fell almost 9% compared to January.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have been stable, with a slight decrease in flower towards pre-rolls. Flower and pre-rolls represent, according to Hifyre IQ data, 73% of the market.
The March sales data will be released on May 21st.