Canada surpassed record sales of weed the second month in a row as an upward trend continued in May, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.
Preliminary figures released Friday show Canadians spent $313.2 million on the regulated weed market in May, a 68 per cent leap from the same month last year. The daily spending average came in at $10.1 million, and Canada remains on track to surpass $3.68 billion in weed sales this year.
Canada’s overall retail sales dropped 2.1 per cent in May to $53.8 billion as many retailers faced pandemic-related closures. While Saskatchewan and Manitoba were the only two provinces to see sales go up that month, cannabis sales are telling a different story.
The majority of the country saw growth in weed sales in May compared to April.
Sales in the country’s largest weed market grew 2.7 per cent as Ontario hit $111.2 million in sales. Toronto’s share was steady at $41.6 million.
British Columbia jumped nearly 7 per cent to $46.7 million, with Vancouver bringing in $14.5 million.
A total of 364 licences have been issued so far in B.C., and Ontario has more than 800 licensed retail locations and hundreds more in the licensing process, according to the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission.
Alberta sold $59.7 million of weed in May, up 1.4 per cent from April.
Quebec’s sales went up 1.6 per cent to $49.6 million.
Saskatchewan’s weed sales dipped slightly by just over 3 per cent for a total of $12.9 million.
Manitoba has been climbing in sales for most of the year, reaching its highest total yet in 2021 at $11.9 million in May, which is a 3 per cent increase from the previous month.
Maritimes mostly seeing drops in weed sales
Newfoundland and Labrador is the exception to fewer sales in the Maritime provinces. In May, the province reported a 3 per cent increase from the month before to $4.7 million.
Nova Scotia saw a noticeable drop of nearly 8 per cent to $7.2 million.
New Brunswick sales have been on a slight downward trend since March, sinking by 1.8 per cent for $6.4 million in May.
Figures for PEI and Yukon numbers weren’t provided in May or April. Nunavut hasn’t had available numbers and currently only has one store.
Northwest Territories, however, dropped $12,000 to $611,000 in May.
Despite overall retail sales dropping across Canada in May, Statistics Canada suggests a profitable June.
“Given the rapidly evolving economic situation, Statistics Canada is providing an advance estimate of retail sales, which suggests that sales increased 4.4 per cent in June,” the agency explains.