*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$5.38 per gram this week, down 1.2% from last week’s C$5.45 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$1,854 per pound at the current exchange rate.
- Cannabis Benchmarks conducted their monthly store count check, and we are starting to see a slowdown in new store openings across many provinces. The current store count across Canada as of the end of August 2022 sat at 3,297, which is 868 more than last year.
- The intense competition amongst closely located retailers in Alberta is driving a wave of store closures. Based on our count since the inception of legal recreational cannabis markets, this was the first time that net cannabis stores in the province dropped month-on-month. The store count in Alberta currently sits at 762. One of the positives for Alberta cannabis retailers has been the closure of the government-run online cannabis store, which occurred in March. This has pushed consumers to private retailers that are now permitted to sell online, direct-to-consumer.
- Ontario is now host to 47% of the stores currently open across Canada, which makes sense given its immense population. That being said, growth in stores has slowed considerably in 2022, with many pockets of the province starting to hit saturation points. As with Alberta, we expect Ontario to start to see some store closures and some potential openings to more evenly space the stores.
- British Columbia is another closely-watched market with a strong history of illicit grow operations. From August 15-30, a public sector labor dispute resulted in the closure of BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) cannabis distribution centers. As a result, many stores were temporarily shut down due to lack of product. Additionally, the province-run online store stopped sales and is still not taking any new orders as it tries to catch up.