Canadian cannabis sales surged in March amid COVID-19, data shows

Retail sales of regulated cannabis in Canada soared in March, growing 19% on a monthly basis to a record 181 million Canadian dollars ($129 million).

The March retail sales figures from Canada’s national data bureau confirm what industry sources told Marijuana Business Daily that month: Consumers flocked to cannabis stores to stock up as public health lockdowns spread across the country.

The spike in cannabis sales came even as overall monthly retail sales in Canada cratered by an unprecedented 10% in March during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Retail cannabis sales grew on a month-over-month basis in every province except Prince Edward Island, where cannabis stores closed on March 19. (The four stores reopened May 22.)

In Canada’s four most-populated provinces, March retail cannabis sales increased as follows:

  • Ontario: 21% to CA$47.3 million.
  • Quebec: 29% to CA$37.7 million.
  • British Columbia: 12% to CA$23.5 million.
  • Alberta: 21% to CA$40.4 million.

In February, eight of the 13 provinces and territories experienced lower sales.

On an annual basis, the CA$181 million worth of regulated cannabis sold in March 2020 represents a nearly 200% increase over March 2019, when Canada’s still-developing sector sold CA$60.9 million dollars worth of cannabis at retail.

A monthly breakdown of Canada’s adult-use cannabis sales is available here.

For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the cannabis industry, click here.