New inventory and sales data from Statistics Canada reveal that while Canadians are buying more cannabis products and branching out into different varieties, producers are still having trouble getting control over the massive amounts of extra inventory.
Total sales of non-medical cannabis amounted to 9,287,312 packaged units in August 2020, a 3.5% increase over July, when sales totalled 8.9 million packaged units. Since January 2020, the total number of units sold has increased by 45%. As usual, the most popular product format remains dried cannabis with 6,752,938 units sold, a 2.8% increase over July, however, its share of the total decreased from 73.2% of sales in July to 72.2% in August. That percentage point moved into ingestible formats, each one seeing an increase that month.
When it comes to inventory, in August there were 26,722,471 packaged units sitting in storage with federally licensed producers or in retail stockrooms, which is approximately four times more than what was sold that month. Sales only account for between 19% and 25% of inventory every month, (25% in August, 21% in July, and 19% in March) at least for dried cannabis, and on average, across all categories, more products are being produced every month than are sold. That means that in total, inventory for dried cannabis only decreased by 0.8% in August despite sales being higher than ever.
While sales are up 22.5% since the beginning of the year, Canadians are beginning to stray from classic cannabis. In January, when over 5.5 million units of dried cannabis were sold, this category made up 86.13% of the pie, however in August, when over 6.75 million units were sold, its share has dropped to 72.2%. Despite this, licenced producers are growing more product than ever. Inventory has decreased 10.35% since March 2020, however, 7,917,450 new units were produced in August alone.
Since the COVID-19 era began in March, sales of edibles have increased 83.26% from 767,957 units sold that month to 1,407,345 sold in August. At the time, this category’s share was only 10.5%, but in August edibles made up 15.15% of sales. Over July, sales increased by 7.35%. August’s sales only exhausted 14.4% of the total inventory, with 9,775,069 units unsold. Approximately 2 million units are produced each month, nearly double what is sold.
Extracts and Topicals
Interest in cannabis extracts and topicals are steadily rising along with edibles. In August, 1,113,893 units were sold, an increase of 3.37% from the 1,077,533 units sold in July. This category makes up 12% of sales, up nearly 2% since March. Only 11% of the standing inventory was sold in August, and inventory actually increased 2.6% from 9,815,851 in July to 10,074,509.
Now that there are more options available on the market, sales of topicals continue to rise. From July to August, sales increased by 9%, rising from 10,030 products sold to 10,940. It may not seem like much, but in March there were only 202 sold. Inventory is increasing steadily as well, rising 8.95% between July and August.
Plants and Seeds
Plants and seeds remain a funny category, as they can be dependent on growing seasons and require more niche knowledge from customers. Non-medical consumers don’t seem to be incredibly interested yet, purchasing only 10 plants in August, and 24 in July. Seeds seem to be the preferred buy for home-growers, with 2,186 units sold in August and 3,003 sold in July.
Sales may continue to climb every month, but if inventories rise with them, it stands to reason that Canada’s largest licenced producers will continue to have trouble. With so much overstock sitting in a warehouse, it’s not just the THC that will degrade over time, it’s their bottom line, too.
Read the full report here.
Total Non-Medical Cannabis (packaged units)
August 2020: 9,287,312
July 2020: 8,969,207
72.2% – Dried Cannabis +2.8%
15.15% – Edibles +7.35%
12% – Extracts +3.37%
0.12% – Topicals +9.07%
0.023% – Seeds -27.2%
0.001% – Plants -58.3%