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November Retail Sales Down 6.2%

Retail sales of recreational cannabis hit $412.10 million in November 2023, down 6.2% from October, according to new Statistics Canada data. But November sales were up 10.10% from the same month last year.

October’s 2023 sales figures were also revised to $439.29 million, down from the previously reported $448.61 million.

Month-over-month, cannabis sales declined in every province except Quebec and Saskatchewan, where sales increased by 1.85% and 11.23%, respectively. Sales also increased in Quebec City and Gatineau.

Canadian cannabis sales have been on a decline over the past three months after hitting a high of $466.99 million in August 2023. At the same time, cannabis wholesale prices started to rebound in November and December 2023 after bottoming out in late 2022.

The number of retail cannabis stores in Canada also continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace than prior years, as provinces continue to push back against the illicit market.

Prairies

In Alberta, Canada’s second largest cannabis market, sales were down 3.69% in November, to $19.06 million. Similarly, sales in Calgary decreased 3.98% to $20.54 million and declined 2.66% in Edmonton to $25.03 million.

In an effort to reduce red tape and give retailers more time to focus on their business, Alberta is implementing several policy changes that take effect on January 31, 2024. These include allowing licensed retailers to operate temporary sales locations at adult-only events and removing restrictions on sales and transfers between cannabis retailers.

Elsewhere in the prairies, sales were down 2.04% in Manitoba to $17.23 million and decreased 3.21% in Winnipeg to $10.64 million.

Saskatchewan saw an 11.23% increase in sales to $19.06 million in November. Saskatchewan has also seen the second largest year-over-year increase in provincial sales, next to Newfoundland at 23.72%, with sales up 23.53% since November 2022.

Ontario

November sales hit $154.54 million in Ontario, down 13.22% from October. Similarly, sales were down 13.21% in Toronto and 13.22% in Ottawa.

Ottawa is the only reported Canadian city or province to see a decline in year-over-year sales, with sales down 6.51% from November 2022.

It was recently discovered that Canadian grocery store giant Loblaws has been lobbying the Ontario government to change the regulations and allow for cannabis stores inside grocery stores among other policy changes.

Ontario also increased its store cap from 75 to 150, a far cry from the 8-store cap in British Columbia.

Quebec

Besides Saskatchewan, Quebec was the only other province to see an increase in month-over-month sales up 1.85% in November to $52.10 million. Sales were down 1.76% in Montreal but up 13.19% in Quebec City and 10.17% in Gatineau.

British Columbia

On Canada’s west coast, sales were down 3.08% in BC to $67.51 million and down 3.8% in Vancouver to $22.04 million. Both the province and city have seen sizeable year-over-year increases with sales in BC up 21.30% since last November and sales up 19.12% in Vancouver.

Maritimes

November sales dropped across the board in the Maritimes. Sales were down 5.26% in Newfoundland to $6.96 million, 6.35% in Prince Edward Island to $2.01 million, 5.73% in Nova Scotia to $9.61 million, and 4.20% in New Brunswick to $7.20 million.

PEI recently got its fifth store opened by the provincial Crown Corporation, trailing far behind the other provinces in store count and population per store. With a population of approximately 175,853 people, each store in PEI serves over 35,000 people compared to the national average of 11,119 people per store.

Provincial Sales (x1,000)

Canada: $412,096 (-6.21%)

Newfoundland: $6,959 (-5.26%)

Prince Edward Island: $2,010 (-6.35%)

Nova Scotia: $9,610 (-5.73%)

New Brunswick: $7,198 (-4.20%)

Quebec: $52,099 (1.85%)

Montreal: $29,274 (-1.76%)

Quebec City: $5,720 (13.19%)

Gatineau: $1,472 (10.17%)

Ontario: $154,546 (-13.22%)

Toronto: $51,009 (-13.21%)

Ottawa: $13,907 (-13.22%)

Manitoba: $17,226 (-2.04%)

Winnipeg: $10,641 (-3.21%)

Saskatchewan: $19,061 (11.23%)

Alberta: $73,658 (-3.69%)

Calgary: $20,539 (-3.98%)

Edmonton: $25,027 (-2.66%)

British Columbia: $67,510 (-3.08%)

Vancouver: $22,042 (-3.80%)

Yukon: $1,012 (-9.79%)

Source: Statistics Canada

Photo courtesy of SevenPoint Interiors

Tags: 2023 cannabis sales (12), Alberta cannabis (52), BC Cannabis (33), Canadian Cannabis (107), Cannabis Industry (180), Cannabis Retail (387), Cannabis Sales (64), November 2023 sales (1), Ontario Cannabis (65), provincial sales by province (13)