As the spring season turns into summer, nationwide cannabis retail sales climbed to $313.2 million in May 2021, a 2.27% increase over the month before. While overall retail sales decreased 2.1%, with core retail sales like gas stations and motor vehicle sales dropping 2.4%, most provinces saw increases in cannabis retail sales.
Newfoundland and Labrador retailers saw the largest sales growth out of all the Atlantic provinces, recording an increase of 3.03% from $4.57 million to $4.72 million in May. Nova Scotia, unfortunately, saw the largest decline in sales. The province added five new stores distributing cannabis in May, however, sales dipped 7.85% from $7.8 million to $7.18 million.
Quebec and Ontario
Sales revenues in Ontario continue to surpass $100 million with retailers in the province bringing in a combined $111.17 million in May, however, sales only increased 2.77% after just over 100 new stores opened that month. Similarly, sales in Toronto only grew 0.11%, or around $100,000, going from $41.5 million to $41.6 million.
Is this merely a readjustment of sales post-4/20, or is Toronto’s retailer bloat beginning to show in the numbers?
Quebec held steady in May, seeing 1.59% more sales than the month before, bringing in $49.5 million overall. With only 68 stores in the province, Quebec maintains the highest average sales per store at $728,764.70 each, hundreds of thousands of dollars more than its closest competition, which is Ottawa at $533,850 for each of its 20 stores. Montreal earned a marginal increase of 2.67%, but Gatineau had the most impressive sales growth across the board, bringing in $15 million, 8.75% more than the month before.
Any gains that Saskatchewan had managed in April were unfortunately lost in May, sales decreasing 3.36% after increasing 3.33% the month before, with totals coming in at $12.8 million compared to $13.3 million previously.
Manitoba added nearly 10 new stores in May, bumping sales up 3.06% to $11.89 million compared to $11.54 million, and numbers in Winnipeg increased accordingly from $8.2 million to $8.4 million.
Alberta also saw modest gains in May—only 1.42%, nearly reaching the $60 million mark at $59.6 million province-wide. The cities everyone’s got their eyes on, Calgary and Edmonton each added nine stores over the course of the month, and while Calgary saw a small dip of 0.21%, still hovering around $15.9 million, Edmonton saw a 3.87% increase, earning $20.2 million compared to $19.5 million in April.
British Columbia continues to rise in the ranks as more licensed retailers pop up. Only five new stores opened in May, but sales rose 6.88% to $46.6 million from $43.6 million the month before. Vancouver is seeing a similar increase, bringing in 7.93% more than the month before for a total of $14.5 million.
Canadian Cannabis Retail Sales – May 2021 (x1000)
Prince Edward Island: not reported
Nova Scotia: $7,188
New Brunswick: $6,359
-Montréal, Quebec: $25,325
-Quebec, Quebec: $5,890
-Gatineau, Quebec: $1,503
-Toronto, Ontario: $41,627
-Ottawa, Ontario: $10,677
-Winnipeg, Manitoba: $8,415
-Calgary, Alberta: $15,947
-Edmonton, Alberta: $20,246
British Columbia: $46,657
-Vancouver, BC: $14,551
Yukon: not reported
Northwest Territories: $611
Source: Statistics Canada