CCSI image 1 2022-03-18

*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$5.17 per gram this week, down 0.4% from last week’s C$5.19 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$1,845 per pound at the current exchange rate.

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As we reported last week, Alberta’s cannabis industry went through a major transformation that allows licensed private retailers in the province the ability to establish online stores to sell their products direct-to-consumer. This week we focus on British Columbia (BC), where the government opened online sales back in August 2020. The one caveat: customers were required to pick up their purchases in-person. 

That changed on July 15 last year, when licensed cannabis retailers in BC were authorized to deliver recreational cannabis products directly to consumers. The BC government saw this as an avenue to support BC’s legal cannabis industry and continue to push out the illegal market. With this initiative and the continued growth in new retail stores, we are seeing BC’s legal cannabis sales grow. This is welcome news for the industry, since BC still has a very robust illicit market.

At the end of 2021, there were 403 cannabis retailers in BC, which was 100 more than at the end of 2020. 2021 sales topped C$551M, with consecutive monthly growth. The primary factor for the growth in sales was the increased accessibility of the legal market, with nine new stores opening per month, on average. This strong relationship between store counts and monthly legal cannabis sales can be seen clearly in the chart below.

For 2022, we expect an average of eight new stores to open each month. We expect total 2022 sales to grow by 18% or C$98M, to C$649M.