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OCS Reports Q1 2021 Results

Between April and June of this year, 41.9 million grams of cannabis were sold in Ontario, worth $307 million. Despite rolling lockdowns in the province, Ontario saw a rapid growth of private retailers opening their doors and an 18% increase in sales with these private retailers bringing home 92% of it.

“The data from this quarter tells a story of resilience and growth in Ontario’s legal cannabis sector, despite the broad effects of continued lockdowns in the fight against COVID-19,” reads the Ontario Cannabis Store’s (OCS) Q1 2021 Insights Report. “Licensed producers pushed to improve quality and deliver products in demand from legal cannabis consumers to licensed retailers who continued to invest in stores in communities across the province.”


In total, private retailers in Ontario sold 38.4 million grams (worth $282 million) of cannabis in Q1 2021, while the OCS sold 3.5 million directly to customers ($24.2 million). By the end of April, there were 834 stores in the province, meaning that each store sold, on average, around 4,600 grams of cannabis worth $342,000.

By area, western Ontario has the highest number of retailers and sales, with 267 stores earning $87.5 million in sales in Q1 2021. Toronto comes in second place with the number of stores, however, sales were only $63.7 million— around $249,800 per store—while eastern Ontario earned $80.5 million in sales with 179 stores—around $449,700 per store. The 81 stores in the Greater Toronto Area earned $45.8 million.

After adding 262 stores between this quarter and the last, the number of communities served by a cannabis store doubled and the average distance to a store for the average Ontarian decreased to 5.3 kilometres from 6.5 kilometres. Additionally, the price of cannabis per gram decreased to $6 for the OCS and $8.28 for retailers, still nearly $0.25 less than the illicit market. These successes led to capturing an extra 3% of the market share from the illicit market, bringing the legal market share up to 47.1%.


When it comes to the market share of products, the Ontario market looks fairly similar to the rest of the country—dried flower (56%) and pre-rolls (15%) are on top, with vapes (15%) close behind. Edibles (4%), concentrates (3%) and oils (3%), and beverages (2%) round out the bottom of the list.

Stores earned $160.2 million in total on dried flower in the first quarter of this year, and chances are it was either a high-potency THC product or a CBD-only product. According to the report, high THC (over 20%) products sold 354 times faster than low-potency THC products (between 3% and 19%). Once the CBD potency increases, however, so does its popularity. CBD-dominant products sold 135 times faster than other slow-selling products, making them the second-fastest selling category. While most sizes of flower remained stationary, sales of large formats (21g to 28 g) increased 3% at the OCS and in retail stores.

Despite making up less than 10% of the market share, customers have shown a clear preference in the edibles and concentrate categories. Sales of soft chews made up 75.6% of edibles sales, bringing in just over $9 million, with infused chocolates coming in second place, accounting for 22.7% of sales, or $2.76 million. In concentrates, sales are more evenly split between the myriad of forms, however, hash comes out on top, representing 41.3% ($3.57 million) of sales, with resin and rosin close behind, bringing in $2.6 million, or 30% of concentrate sales.

This data shows that while customers are experimenting with new products, clear favourites are beginning to emerge. Not only that, but it shows how diverse cannabis consumers are, whether they are the curious folks who love shopping in-store and trying new things or whether they prefer to make a monthly order from OCS or just get the highest potency for the lowest cost. We have to make space for all of them, or they’ll add their dollars to the illicit market.

Tags: Cannabis Retail (387), Concentrates (6), consumer trends (39), dried flower (3), edibles (15), OCS (42), Ontario Cannabis (65), Ontario Cannabis Store (76), Q1 2021 (1)