Statistics Canada released August retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales increasing from July by 5% to C$356.9 million, a record high. The record sales were up 43.8% from a year ago, the lowest annual growth to date and down from 45.6% in July.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$340 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating September sales to be over 1% lower, which would be 4.7% lower than the actual August level and up 33% 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 9.9% from July and 96% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up down slightly from July and up 15% from a year ago. Quebec was up slightly, while British Columbia continued to outpace the overall market, growing 7.2% from July.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have been stable, with a slight decrease in flower towards pre-rolls over time. Derivative products continue to account for a relatively small amount of the market. Flower and pre-rolls represent, according to Hifyre IQ data, 73% of the market, modestly lower than in July.
The September sales data will be released on November 19th.