Canada’s August cannabis sales growth limited by Ontario wholesale outage

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Canada’s overall recreational cannabis sales inched higher in August, but a wholesale outage in Ontario, the country’s largest market, limited nationwide growth to less than 1%.

Consumers purchased 393.7 million Canadian dollars ($330 million) worth of adult-use products in August, up from July’s CA$392.9 million, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

Compared with the previous month, sales rose 1.8% month-over-month outside Ontario in August but fell in the province by 2.2%, or CA$3.4 million.

Ontario’s provincial monopoly wholesaler had suspended all deliveries to retailers for part of August after a cyberattack struck the parent company that operates its distribution center.

Full deliveries didn’t resume until weeks later.

The delays underscored an “urgent need for reform,” the province’s Chamber of Commerce has said.

In British Columbia, job action at the province’s monopoly distributor left some regulated cannabis stores with too little inventory, forcing them to close their doors.

That did not appear to show in the August sales data, as British Columbia led Canada in growth that month.

Sales in the Western province jumped 10% month-over-month to CA$63 million in August.

The CA$5.7 million gain over July was the highest in Canada among all provinces and territories.

Alberta experienced a big drop in sales.

Stores in the province drew CA$67.2 million in marijuana revenue that month, down CA$2 million, or 2.9% from July.

The rest of the provinces and territories, in order of net gain/loss from the previous month:

  • Quebec: CA$50.1 million (up CA$928,000, or 1.9%).
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: CA$6.2 million (up CA$623,000, or 11.1%).
  • Nova Scotia: CA$9.4 million (up CA$371,000, or 4.1%).
  • Saskatchewan: CA$16.1 million (up CA$237,000, or 15%).
  • Prince Edward Island: CA$2.2 million (up CA$43,000, or 2.1%).
  • New Brunswick: CA$7.2 million (down CA$11,000, or under 1%).
  • Manitoba: CA$15.6 million (down CA$1.7 million, or 10%).

In Yukon, cannabis sales crossed the CA$1 million threshold for the first time, rising 7% over July to CA$1.03 million.

Adult-use cannabis sales declined in most Canadian cities in August.

Toronto led all cities with a decline of CA$1.1 million in sales over July, per the Statistics Canada data.

Yet, Toronto still led all cities with sales of CA$50.8 million in August, or 13% of Canada’s total sales.

Vancouver was the top performing Canadian city by nominal sales growth.

In August, consumers there bought CA$19.4 million of recreational cannabis products, which is CA$620,000, or 3.3%, more than the previous month.

The rest of the cities tracked by Statistics Canada, in order of net gain/loss from the previous month:

  • Montreal: CA$27.3 million (up CA$497,000, or 1.9%)
  • Quebec City: CA$4.8 million (up CA$37,000, or under 1%).
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba: CA$9.9 million (down CA$803,000, or 7.5%).
  • Calgary, Alberta: CA$18.9 million (down CA$801,000, or 4.1%).
  • Ottawa, Ontario: CA$16.9 million (down CA$378,000, or 2.2%).
  • Gatineau, Quebec: CA$1.5 million (down CA$159,000, or 11%).
  • Edmonton, Alberta: CA$22.5 million (down CA$316,000, or 1.4%).