Statistics Canada released November retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales decreasing from October by 2.9% to C$353.7 million. The sales were up 36.3% from a year ago, up slightly from 35.7% in October.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$348 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating December sales to be 8% higher, which would be 4.6% above the actual November level and up 24% from a year ago.
COVID lockdowns have been weighing on retail sales, while 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 2% from October and 83% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was down 7% from October and up 9% from a year ago. Quebec was down 7%, while British Columbia was down 5% from October as it advanced 31% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have seen a shift towards non-flower products, which it estimates at 28.4% in November compared to 27.9% in October. In December, Hifyre estimates that non-flower products increased to a record 29.9%, with primarily edibles driving the growth.
The December sales data will be released on February 18th.