Despite overall retail sales dropping 5.7% in April, cannabis sales saw a 3.89% increase as the third wave of COVID-19 rolled across the country. Sales decreased in nine out of eleven subsectors, according to Statistics Canada, but luckily cannabis was not one of them. Some provinces did see a mild decrease in sales in April, despite cannabis’ annual 4/20 celebrations, however, many saw slight increases, and some grew enough to make up for the decline, bumping the national total up to $309.7 million.
As usual, Ontario took home the biggest slice of the pie, its 675 retailers earning $108.1 million in sales, 4.6% more than the previous month. Toronto remains the city with the highest sales as well, bringing in $41.5 million from 168 stores. Alberta and Quebec held steady at second and third place, sales increasing by barely 1%, earning $58.8 million and $48.7 million, respectively.
The highest increase, however, was seen in British Columbia. As more municipalities opted in for cannabis retail and more stores opened up, the West Coast saw a 13.86% increase in sales in April, going from $41.2 million in March to $46.9 million. Vancouver saw a huge spike as well, with sales increasing almost 33% from $12.5 million to $16.6 million.
Sales Per Store
When it comes to average monthly sales per store, the results are more of a mixed bag.
Quebec, with its stationary store count and increasing sales, saw an increase in province-wide sales per store, but surprisingly not much in the cities. Overall, stores in Quebec bring in an average of $717,367.65 per month, but a whopping $3.5 million each in Montreal, down from $3.9 million the month before.
Across the Prairies, modest growth was reported, but Alberta retailers continue to take a hit to their average monthly sales as more stores open. Monthly sales only changed by 0.04% between March and April, but the province’s store count grew to 618, making the average only $95,236.25. Calgary, the city many industry analysts are worried about, added seven new stores and sales only grew 0.78%, bringing down the average from $107,128 to $103,097. Edmonton was only marginally better, adding five new stores, but maintaining an average of $157,331, still down quite a bit from $165,378 the month before.
Despite growing concern, Toronto retailers seem to be holding up well. The 24 new stores that opened during the month helped sales increase 6.21%, leaving each with an average of $247,505.95, even though it was a dip from the $271,854 average of the month before. Ottawa retailers continue to rake in the cash, with sales increasing 7.34% leading to an average of $494,095.24 per store, still down from $537,000. Provincially, however, the average has sunk below the $200,000 mark to $160,268.15, more than $100,000 less than the month before.
Even with lockdowns and restrictions, the producers, retailers, and consumers still manage to help the industry grow month after month.
Monthly Canadian Cannabis Retail Sales – April 2021 (x1000)
Prince Edward Island: —
Nova Scotia: $7,801
New Brunswick: $6,477
– Montréal, Quebec: $24,666
– Quebec, Quebec: $5,943
– Gatineau, Quebec: $1,382
– Toronto, Ontario: $41,581
– Ottawa, Ontario: $10,376
– Winnipeg, Manitoba: $8,239
– Calgary, Alberta: $15,980
– Edmonton, Alberta: $19,509
British Columbia: $46,979
– Vancouver, BC: $16,680
Northwest Territories: $623