Statistics Canada released December retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales growth decreasing sequentially. Sales of C$298.4 million fell 5.6% from December, which had increased 14.8% from November levels, and rose 83.5% from a year ago. This was the slowest year-over-year growth since adult-use sales commenced.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$262 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating February growth to be 6% below its January forecast (there are three fewer days in the month), which would be 13% lower than the actual January level and up 62% from a year ago.
The decrease is likely due to the pandemic, which has resulted in reduced access to stores. An increase in the number of stores as well as falling flower prices have been boosting sales in previous months. In Ontario, the largest province in population, sales fell 5%. Alberta, which is the second-largest, fell over 8%. Quebec slipped 4%, while British Columbia fell almost 6%.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have been stable, with a slight decrease in pre-rolls towards flower. Flower and pre-rolls represent, according to Hifyre IQ data, 74% of the market.
The February sales data will be released on April 28th.