Statistics Canada released September retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales increasing from August by 0.2% to C$354.7 million. The record sales were up 38.2% from a year ago, the lowest annual growth to date and down from 42.6% in August.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$355 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating October sales to be 1% higher, which would be 1.2% above the actual September level and up 34% 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 1.9% from August and 82% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up slightly from August and up 13% from a year ago. Quebec was down slightly, while British Columbia also slipped slightly from August as it advanced 35% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have been stable, with a slight decrease in flower towards pre-rolls over time. Derivative products continue to account for a relatively small amount of the market. Flower and pre-rolls represent, according to Hifyre IQ data, 73% of the market in September, similar to August, with a small gain in non-flower products projected for October.
The October sales data will be released on December 21st.