*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.
- Statistics Canada recently released August retail cannabis sales for the country. August sales, at C$393.7M, were only C$0.8M higher than July. To correct for the different number of days per month, we look at the data in terms of average daily sales in the above chart. The latest data shows average daily sales hit a peak of C$12.7M in August, an increase of 13% from the same month last year. As seen in the chart above, the annual growth has slowed considerably, leading to a plateau in sales.
- However, it is important to note that there were a number of anomalous factors that prevented sales from being considerably higher in August. First, Ontario’s provincial cannabis wholesaler, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), suspended deliveries to retailers after a cyberattack impacted one of its supply chain partners. The delivery halt began August 5 and lasted almost a week. The OCS’s actions were precautionary, as the cyberattack did not impact their operation directly, but rather that of its key distribution partner, Domain Logistics.
- Second, labor issues in British Columbia (BC) prevented the provincial cannabis distribution center from distributing goods to private retail locations for a significant portion of late August. Privately held businesses in the province, which are obligated to obtain their supply from the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB), stated that they were forced to temporarily close because they were out of stock.
- Third, there is still fierce rivalry in Alberta’s retail sector, which is starting to result in comparatively low sales margins and storefront closures.
- If sales continue at the daily run rate for August for the rest of the year, total 2022 sales should exceed C$4.49B. (That calculation assumes daily sales average C$12.7M between September and December.) This should establish the low-end expectation for sales this year, given that both Ontario and British Columbia have resolved their internal issues. Additionally, we continue to see growth in store counts and more online / delivery options, which should continue to move cannabis consumers away from the illicit markets.