Statistics Canada released March retail sales for the country, with cannabis sales rising from the February levels, up 11.3% to C$405.5 million. February was revised slightly lower to C$364.3 million. The sales, which rose 0.6% on a per-day basis, were up 12.9% from a year ago, up from the 12.4% February growth rate. In 2022, total sales increased 17.9% to C$4.52 billion, and they have increased 13.2% 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 12.0% from February and up 10% from a year ago. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 11.2% from February and up 15% from a year ago. Quebec was up 12.6% from February and up 19% from a year ago, while British Columbia was up 11.5% from February as it advanced 13% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ had forecast March sales at C$410.7 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating April sales to be slightly lower, which would be 1.1% above the actual actual March level and up 9.8% from a year ago, based upon its data. Hifyre estimates sales outside of flower and pre-rolls at 31.4% in February March and 30.6% in April.
The April sales data will be released on June 21st.