Statistics Canada released July retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales increasing from June, which had one less day. Sales of C$338.9 million, a record high, rose 6% from June, an acceleration in the sequential gains experienced over the prior three months. The record sales were up 45.6% from a year ago, the lowest annual growth to date and down from 58.5% in June.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$340 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating August sales to be over 2% higher, which would be 2.7% lower than the actual July level and up 40% 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 have been boosting sales. In Ontario, the largest province in population, sales were up 5.5% from June and 110% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 4.9% from May and up 17% from a year ago. Quebec increased 5.9%, while British Columbia showed the best sequential growth among the largest provinces, increasing 9.4%.
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, 74% of the market.
The August sales data will be released on October 22nd.