Statistics Canada released December retail sales for the country, with cannabis sales increasing from November sharply to a record C$425.9 million, up 13.8%. November was revised from C$373.3 million to C$374.3 million. The growth per-day increased by 10.1%. The sales were up 20.2% from a year ago, up from the reported 9.9% November growth rate that was revised to 10.2%. In 2022, total sales increased 17.9% to C$4.52 billion.
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 15.1% from November and up 35% from a year ago. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 11.1% from November and up 12% from a year ago. Quebec was up 12.7% from November and down 2% from a year ago, while British Columbia was up 13.3% from November as it advanced 21% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ had forecast December sales at C$400.2 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating January sales to be 3.6% lower, which would be 9.4% below the actual actual level and up 11.3% from a year ago, based upon its data. Hifyre estimates sales outside of flower and pre-rolls at 32.7% in December and 32.0% in January.
The January sales data will be released on March 21st.