After spending nearly $300 million on cannabis in December, Canadians spent January nursing their wallets, living more frugally as the post-holiday credit card bills came in. Still, cannabis retailers brought in $282.8 million in sales in January 2021, 5.6% less than the month before. Compared to the pre-holiday period though, sales seem to be right on track, having increased 10% since September 2020.
On the East coast, sales appear stable. Since all of the Maritime provinces have government-owned retailers, except Newfoundland and Labrador that has private licensed stores along with a government-run online store, their store numbers grow at a relatively steady pace along with sales. After the spike in December, which saw substantial increases for all provinces, sales have levelled out to pre-holiday levels.
Quebec and Ontario
The Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) continues to roll out stores across Quebec and as more citizens get access to a store, sales rise accordingly. After a small 4% drop after December, the total sales of $48.7 million for January show an 8.3% increase over September 2020. Ontario, which has been rolling out at least 20 stores per week through the fall season, saw retail sales grow 15.3% since September, bringing in $89.9 million in January.
Saskatchewan, the province that seems happy to do its own thing when it comes to the cannabis industry, continues to remain stable, with sales only fluctuating around 10% since September 2020. The province brought in $12 million in January.
Manitoba, on the other hand, has experienced steady growth through the last quarter of 2020. Since September, sales have increased 20.8% from $9.3 million to $11.2 million in January 2021 and decreased less than 1% after December.
Alberta continues to grow as well after removing the cap for its number of stores, its retailers driving an 8.8% increase in sales since September, bringing in $58.3 million in January.
Similarly, British Columbia saw a modest increase in sales since September of 9.5%, bringing in $40.4 million in January, 5.5% less than the month before.
In the northern territories, sales have stayed stable except for the Northwest Territories, where a handful of new retailers opened their doors, skyrocketing sales in the territory 151% since September. In December, the Northwest Territories brought in just shy of $1 million, but sales settled at $975,000 in January.
Retail Sales Per Province – January 2021 (x1000)
Nova Scotia: $7,664
New Brunswick: $6,462