CCSI image 1 2022-01-21

*The provincial excise taxes vary. Cannabis Benchmarks estimates the population weighted average excise tax for Canada.

**CCSI is inclusive of the estimated Federal & Provincial cannabis excise taxes..

The CCSI was assessed at C$5.05 per gram this week, down 0.7% from last week’s C$5.08 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$1,829 per pound at the current exchange rate.

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This week we focus on Alberta’s potential growth in legal sales with the passing of Bill-80. Bill-80, the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021 (No. 2) received royal assent on December 8, 2021. For the cannabis industry, this means that currently licensed retailers can establish their own online stores to sell their products direct-to-consumer. 

Up until now, legal cannabis was available online only through the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC)-run e-commerce platform. AGLC will remain responsible for buying products from federally licensed producers and distributing them to licensed private retailers, but we believe the new sales landscape will be very beneficial for the entire cannabis industry and consumer.

The bill gives the province 90 days to close its online store and allow licensed retailers to set up their e-commerce platforms. So on March 8, 2022, this change will take place, likely leading to an even more competitive cannabis marketplace in Alberta.

SOURCE: Cannabis Benchmarks

Alberta has consistently had a strong store count relative to other provinces, and this has resulted in strong per capita sales figures. Our latest count shows that Alberta had 718 stores open for business as of the end of December 2021. That figure was up by 169 stores, or a jump of 30%, compared to December 2020. Licensed private retailers will be able to keep costs significantly lower with a shift to online sales. Once a customer is acquired through a storefront, moving the customer to their online platform will allow fulfillment of purchases from a centralized location, which should result in lower retail price points. This should be a net benefit to both retailers and customers.From the cultivator’s perspective, the lower retail price point will further push consumers away from the illicit markets. Alberta already has one of the smallest illicit cannabis markets, but this change should drive even more volume through legal channels.