Statistics Canada released April retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales increasing slightly from March, which had one more day. Sales of C$309.7 million rose 3.8% after a 14% increase in March that followed two consecutive sequential declines of 6% to begin the year and increased 73.6% from a year ago, an improvement from the 65.1% year-over-year growth in March, which was the lowest growth to date.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$300 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating May sales to be modestly higher, which would be 1% higher than the actual April level and up 69% from a year ago.
COVID lockdowns have been weighing on retail sales, while an increase in the number of stores as well as falling flower prices have been boosting sales. In Ontario, the largest province in population, sales were up 5% from March and 169% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was unchanged from March and up 39% from a year ago. Quebec also rose 1% from March, while British Columbia increased 13%.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have been stable, with a slight decrease in flower towards pre-rolls over time. Flower and pre-rolls represent, according to Hifyre IQ data, 74% of the market.
The May sales data will be released on July 23rd.