NEWS BRIEF

Cannabis sales decline in every large Canadian city in February

Retail sales of recreational cannabis declined in February from the previous month in every major Canadian city tracked by Statistics Canada, according to the latest data from the country’s federal statisticians.

Across Canada, regulated cannabis sales took a breather in February, falling 5.9% from January to 263 million Canadian dollars ($213 million).

The sales figures were not seasonally adjusted for February’s shorter month.

It’s the second consecutive monthly decline after sales reached an all-time high of CA$297 million in December.

Toronto continued to lead all municipalities, and most provinces, with CA$35.4 million in sales in February, though the total was still about CA$568,000 lower than in January.

Sales in eight other cities tracked by Statistics Canada fell, led by Gatineau, Quebec’s 13% decline to only CA$823,000 in sales in February.

Gatineau’s monthly sales collapsed after peaking in December 2019 at CA$1.83 million.

The border city’s sales started falling precipitously after the province raised the legal age for buying marijuana from 18 to 21 in January 2020, likely driving young consumers into neighboring Ontario. (Quebec also bans sales of cannabis vape and most edible products.)

February sales trended lower in Canada’s other large cities:

  • Montréal: CA$18.67 million (down 11.8%)
  • Edmonton CA$17.74. million (down 7.5%)
  • Calgary: CA$14.22 million (down 10.5%)
  • Vancouver CA$11.14 million (down 8.4%)
  • Quebec City: CA$5.422 million (down 11%)
  • Ottawa: CA$7.83 million (down 11.5%)
  • Winnipeg: CA$7.06 million (down 10.4%)

By province, Ontario experienced marginal month-over-month growth in February with regulated adult-use cannabis sales increasing to CA$87.83 million.

In Alberta, Canada’s second-largest cannabis market, sales fell 8.5% to CA$53.37 million in February.

British Columbia’s cannabis market continued its slide, falling another 8.7% to CA$36.86 million.

B.C.’s legal cannabis sales are now almost equal to Toronto’s.

Monthly sales trended lower in Canada’s other provinces and territories:

  • Quebec: CA$43.8 million (down 10.1%)
  • Manitoba: CA$9.69 million (down 11.2%)
  • Saskatchewan: CA$11.48 million (down 4%)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: CA$4 million (down 11.8%)
  • Prince Edward Island: CA$1.55 million (down 5.4%)
  • Nova Scotia: CA$6.94 million (down 9.4%)
  • New Brunswick: CA$5.84 million (down 9.7%)
  • Yukon: CA$62,000 (down 8.6%)
  • Northwest Territories: CA$982 (down 1%)

The data bureau’s monthly cannabis sales data for 2020 are available here.

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