Statistics Canada released February retail sales for the country, with cannabis sales falling from the January levels, down 7.5% to C$365.7 million. January was revised slightly to C$395.4 million. The sales, which rose 2.4% on a per-day basis, were up 12.8% from a year ago, down from the reported 14.1% January growth rate. In 2022, total sales increased 17.9% to C$4.52 billion, and they have increased 13.5% 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 down 8.5% from January and up 9% from a year ago. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was down 5.9% from January and up 13% from a year ago. Quebec was down 9.0% from January and up 8% from a year ago, while British Columbia was down 7.9% from January as it advanced 21% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ had forecast February sales at C$357.4 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating March sales to be 12.1% higher, which would be 9.6% above the actual actual February level and up 11.5% from a year ago, based upon its data. Hifyre estimates sales outside of flower and pre-rolls at 32.2% in February and 31.5% in March.
The March sales data will be released on May 19th.