*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$5.31 per gram this week, up 1.3% from last week’s C$5.24 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$1,798 per pound at the current exchange rate.
- In this week’s report, we focus on the battle between legal and illicit supply. In the first few years of cannabis legalization, the regulated Canadian market has faced strong competition from illicit supply chains, but that situation started to change quickly. Falling retail prices, increased product variety, and better accessibility through new storefronts, pick-up / delivery options, and online marketplaces all helped bring legal cannabis to consumers.
- Today, we look specifically at the situation in Ontario, where the most recent quarterly report published by the Ontario Cannabis Store (ocs.ca) estimates the legal market made up 57% of all cannabis sales as of Q1 2022. Up until the most recently reported quarter, legal cannabis’ share of total sales had been trending higher. Yet, despite both sales and store counts in Ontario growing quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2022, the legal market’s share of total sales slipped a bit from the prior period.
- The chart below shows the average number of stores in Ontario over the past thirteen quarters, as tracked by Cannabis Benchmarks and the OCS, versus the legal cannabis market’s share of total sales. The growth of the legal cannabis sector had a very strong correlation to the number of storefronts opening up until the most recently reported quarter. With 1,460 stores open at the end of March 2022, or 127 more stores than the end of December 2021, we would have expected the legal market’s share of total sales to expand. Instead, we saw the legal cannabis sector’s progress in capturing market share lose momentum.
Sales for Ontario continue to grow. The latest recreational sales data from Statistics Canada pegs Ontario sales in August 2022 at C$154M. If we assume that this number only represents 57% of total cannabis sales, then the total Ontario cannabis market from all channels, legal and illegal, is roughly C$3.2B annualized.