Canada Cannabis Spot Index (CCSI)
Week Ending June 11, 2021
*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$5.57 per gram this week, up 0.8% from last week’s C$5.53 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$2,090 per pound at the current exchange rate.
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This week, we review Canada’s recreational cannabis store count. The number of stores continues to climb steadily across the country, making the legal cannabis system more accessible to consumers. Our latest count shows the number of stores open for business reached 2,046 as of the end of May. This is up by 1,143 stores, or 126%, compared to May 2020. As can be seen in the chart below, we expect the trend to continue throughout this year.
Source: Cannabis Benchmarks
With each province having different licensing processes, we see different growth rates.
Source: Cannabis Benchmarks
Of the top four provinces, Alberta’s store count seems to be plateauing, at least for the moment. We do not expect much additional new store growth and also anticipate some stores to close, due to strong competition with stores being located close to each other in major cities. British Columbia (BC) increased its store count at a steady pace in 2020, but we expect that growth rate to slow in 2021. At the moment, the BC government only reports 22 stores in the queue that are licensed and ready to open. We anticipate approximately 10 stores to open in BC each month through 2021.
In Quebec and most of the Maritime provinces, provincial governments control the retail environment, with each province owning both the distribution and retail parts of the supply chain. With the province in control, the rollout has been quite slow. Quebec currently has 68 cannabis retail locations and we anticipate that will grow at a pace of only three new stores per month this year.
Ontario continues to be the biggest driving force for new cannabis retail stores. Ontario had the slowest initial rollout of licensed stores among all provinces, but that has drastically changed since Q2 2020. The speed at which new stores are opening for business is helping to drive strong sales growth in the province, a trend that looks as if it will persist for the foreseeable future. Based only on current applications in the pipeline, it appears that Ontario’s retail rollout will continue at a strong pace in 2021. The Ontario government has announced a target of 1,000 total stores by September 2021, and it appears the provincial government will meet that goal.
Overall,we see substantial, strong growth of the country’s legal market continuing, providing an example for the increasing number of U.S. states contemplating legalization, as well as America’s federal government.
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