Statistics Canada released May retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales increasing from April, which had one less day. Sales of C$313.3 million, a record high, rose 2% after a 3% increase in April that followed a 14% gain in March and increased 68.1% from a year ago, slightly worse than the 71.7% year-over-year growth in April.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$322 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating June sales to be modestly higher, which would be 1% lower than the actual May level and up 54% 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 3% from April and 171% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 1% from April and up 29% from a year ago. Quebec increased 2%, while British Columbia increased 7%. BC, the third largest province, has experienced some of the strongest growth recently, gaining 70% from a year ago.
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 June sales data will be released on August 20th.