Statistics Canada released May retail sales for the country, with cannabis sales rising from the April levels, up 1.2% to C$415.6 million. April was revised slightly lower to C$410.6 million. The sales, which fell 2.1% on a per-day basis, were up 11.2% from a year ago, up from the 10.0% April growth rate. In 2022, total sales increased 17.9% to C$4.52 billion, and they have increased 12.1% thus far in 2023.
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 1.5% from April and up 10% from a year ago. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 2.3% from April and up 11% from a year ago. Quebec was up 7.9% from April and up 4% from a year ago, while British Columbia was down 5.4% from April as it advanced 18% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ had forecast May sales at C$429.3 million based upon its data, so this was a negative surprise. The data analytics provider has been estimating June sales to be 0.4% lower, which would be 2.9% above the actual actual May level and up 13.1% from a year ago, based upon its data. Hifyre estimates sales outside of flower and pre-rolls at 30.1% in May and 30.0% in June.
The June sales data will be released on August 23rd.