Feeling the Burn Series Part 3: Cannabis Canada Sales and Trends
The cannabis Canada market has been legal for more than a full year. How has it performed?
Dig into what sales and trends cannabis stores have experienced.
Canadians spent $1.2 billion on non-medical cannabis in 2019 — lower than expected, but an amount that is predicted to grow in 2020.
Sales in December 2019 climbed 8.1% from the month earlier to $146 million. It was the third straight month in a row that sales have increased.
In December, Ontarians bought $33.7 million worth of cannabis (up 6.6% from November) while Quebecers spent $33.5 million (up 12% from November). Albertans spent $32.3 million, up 8.4%.
B.C. spent the least on legal weed.
The Ontario Cannabis Retail Store lost $42 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.
Prices have decreased in Ontario since legalization. As cannabis supply and product proliferation have increased, Ontario prices have dropped. More than 200 price decreases have occurred so far.
2. Locations and Demographics
Retailers across the country have been opening up stores selling cannabis products. Toronto Life shared photos recently of a cannabis store in Toronto.
At the end of January, Alberta had 411 cannabis stores. B.C. (the province with the second-greatest number of stores) had 183.
Fewer than 30 stores are open in Ontario, although the province is working to change that. According to Global News, the lottery system has been discarded and regulators expect to start issuing about 20 store licenses per month starting in April. The province has said that 1,000 stores is the goal.
The Ontario government also recently announced that customers will be able to buy directly from producers, effective this spring.
In Ontario, about a fifth of the population – 2.8 million people – live in places where selling cannabis is illegal, as it has to be approved by the municipality. Some of the biggest municipalities around Toronto voted for bans, including Mississauga, Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Whitby, and Pickering.
According to Statistics Canada, between 2018 and 2019 cannabis use increased, particularly among people aged 25 and older (13.1% to 15.5%) and among males (17.5% to 20.3%).
Nova Scotia had the highest use of cannabis in Q3 2019, followed by PEI at 25.8%.
Cannatrack found that 25-to-29-year-olds have the highest percentage of high-frequency cannabis use. They also discovered that 27.1% of shoppers spend $30 – $59 per purchase on legal cannabis. 23.9% purchase illegal cannabis at that basket size.
The sale of cannabis edibles became legal in October 2019 and available for purchase in stores as of January 2020.
Supply will be limited for the initial launch. In Ontario, the assortment includes four kinds of chocolate bars, three types of chocolate squares, chocolate chip cookie, and soft chews – ranging in price from $7.50 to $16 per item — and one brand of tea, available for $7 to $11 per bag.
Other provinces offer a wider variety of edibles, including gummies, cookies, mints, and more.
Deloitte estimates that the edible market could reach $1.6 billion a year in Canada. Its Nurturing New Growth survey found that 59% of the respondents are interested in trying cannabis-infused edibles and that edibles have the highest interest among all other product types.
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