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Retail cannabis sales declined again in January after holiday spike

Media Partners, Stratcann

This post is presented by our media partner Stratcann
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Retail cannabis sales in January 2024 dropped to their lowest in nearly a year, according to new figures from Statistics Canada

Cannabis sales reached a record high of $589 million in August 2023, followed by three months of decline to $505 million in November before jumping to $562 million in December. Then, in January 2024, retail cannabis sales dropped to $498 million, using seasonally adjusted numbers. 

Retail sales historically decline in the months following the Christmas shopping season, with cannabis being no different. 

Retail cannabis sales have increased on a year-over-year basis since legalization. Before the peak in sales in August 2023, the high water mark for the previous year was $511 million in December 2022, $414 million in December 2021, and $318 million in December 2020. 

While sales still show increases on an annual basis, the three-month decline in retail cannabis sales in 2023 was the steepest overall decline since legalization. The decline comes at a time when both the cannabis industry and the broader Canadian economy face challenges, with consumer spending in many sectors declining, including food and beverages and beer and wine. 

The number of retail stores across Canada also continues to grow, although the pace has slowed considerably compared to the first four years of legalization. As of January 2023, there were 3,681 (up from 3,654 in October) cannabis stores in Canada, excluding provincial online stores.

The number of retail stores across Canada also declined. As of March 2024, there were 3,690 (up from 3,682 in January) cannabis stores in Canada, excluding provincial online stores.

  • British Columbia: 512 public and private stores, either open or “coming soon”; an increase from 511 in January.
  • Alberta: 752, up from 749 in January.
  • Saskatchewan: 185 
  • Manitoba: 204, 120 of which are in Winnipeg (up from 198 in January)
  • Ontario: 1,778 listed as authorized to open
  • Quebec: 98 (down from 104 in January)
  • New Brunswick: 25 public stores, plus eight private stores and six farmgate stores for a total of 39
  • Nova Scotia: 49
  • PEI: 4 
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 55 (from 52 in January)
  • Northwest Territories: 6 brick-and-mortar locations, plus 1 private online store
  • Nunavut: 1
  • Yukon: 6

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