Statistics Canada released October retail sales for the country this morning, with cannabis sales increasing from September by 2.8% to C$364.2 million. The record sales were up 35.7% from a year ago, the lowest annual growth to date and down from 38.2% in September.
Hifyre IQ had forecast sales of C$360 million based upon its data. The data analytics provider has been estimating November sales to be 6% lower, which would be 7.2% below the actual October level and up 30% from a year ago.
COVID lockdowns have been weighing on retail sales, while an increase in the number of stores as well as falling flower prices that bring consumers from the illicit market have been boosting sales. In Ontario, the largest province in population, sales were up 3.0% from September and 77% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 4% from September and up 12% from a year ago. Quebec was up 2%, while British Columbia was up 3% from September as it advanced 34% from a year ago.
Hifyre IQ estimated that product categories have been stable, with a slight decrease in flower towards pre-rolls over time. Derivative products continue to account for a relatively small amount of the market. Flower and pre-rolls represent, according to Hifyre IQ data, 72% of the market in October, slightly lower than in September, with another small gain in non-flower products projected for November, when flower and pre-roll are estimated to total 71.8%.
The November sales data will be released on January 21st.