Statistics Canada released July retail sales for the country, with cannabis sales rising from the strong June levels, up 1.9% to C$446.1 million, another new record for a month. June was revised higher to C$437.7 million. The sales, which fell 1.4% on a per-day basis, were up 13.6% from a year ago, down from the 15.8% June growth rate. In 2022, total sales increased 17.9% to C$4.52 billion, and they have increased 12.9% during the first seven months of 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 down 0.8% from June and up 12% from a year ago. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 4.5% from June and up 13% from a year ago. Quebec was up 2.0% from June and up 9% from a year ago, while British Columbia was up 6.7% from June as it advanced 24% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ had forecast July sales at C$448.3 million based upon its data, so this was slightly below the estimate. The data analytics provider has been estimating August sales to be 0.9% higher, which would be 1.4% above the actual actual July level and up 16.0% from a year ago, based upon its data. Hifyre estimates sales outside of flower and pre-rolls at 29.8% in July and 29.4% in August.
The August sales data will be released on October 20th.