Cannabis was a hot commodity in Canada’s summer months, with monthly retail sales rising in July to a new record of almost $339 million, according to Statistics Canada.
Compared to June — which the agency adjusted slightly to $319 million — revenue rose 6 per cent in July, the second-highest monthly jump in 2021 after February to March.
Weed retail was up in every reporting region.
West Coast province British Columbia led the surge, up 12 per cent to $48.5 million from $43.4 million. Most of the new revenue was driven by areas outside the urban centre of Vancouver, where sales rose just 6 per cent to $15 million.
Starting July 15, the province allowed cannabis stores to deliver, which meant legal weed could be sold to customers in areas without physical stores for the first time.
Read more: Global cannabis sales grow 41% in 2021: BDSA
In terms of dollar gains, Ontario continues to dominate with sales climbing 6 per cent in July to $126.7 million from $120.1 million. The increase there is mostly due to a spate of new store authorizations.
According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, there are 11,115 stores authorized to open with hundreds more in the queue.
In Quebec, which has a province-owned retail model, sales ticked up 6 per cent to $52.1 million from $49.2 million.
And in Alberta, revenue rose 5 per cent to $60.7 million from $57.9 million
Cannabis sales helped soften an overall retail trade lull in July, which StatsCan reported falling 0.6 per cent to $55.8 billion.
The decline was mostly driven by lower sales at food and beverage stores (down 3.4 per cent), as well as building material and garden supply dealers (down 7.3 per cent).
In July, StatsCan noted that much of the country continued reopening measures, which eased restrictions on both retailers and services.
Increasing for a second consecutive month, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 0.4 per cent, led by higher sales at new car dealers, up 0.8 per cent.
Receipts at gasoline stations rose 1.4 per cent for the third straight month. Higher prices added to the growth amid growing global demand, StatsCan says.