Canadians spent about $908 million on non-medical cannabis, or $31 per adult Canadian, in the first year of legalization, according to the latest figures published by Statistics Canada.
In fact ,lowest amount of cannabis with only $15 per capita in the first year. Ontario is followed by Alberta with $195.7 million.
Per capita, cannabis sales in British Columbia ($10) were the lowest in Canada, totaling $50 million. Also, the Yukon set a record at $103 per capita. Nunavut has not deployed any physical stores, so the territory has no statistics available.
A chaotic first year
The opening of legal sales did not take place without incident. As initial demand was largely underestimated, or supply was completely undersized, as desired, legal stores experienced significant stock-outs during the first few weeks. However, therefore,access to cannabis has increased over the year. The number of stores increased from 217 in March to 407 in July.
Alberta has the largest number of stores (176) while British Columbia is the second most populated province with 57 dispensaries.
19% of Canadians lived within 3 kilometers of a cannabis store in July 2019. 30% would be 5 kilometers away and 45% 10 kilometers away, leaving the majority of Canadians without a store nearby.
Also , the increase in the number of physical stores was accompanied by a drop in online sales, from 43.4% in October 2018 to 5.9% in September 2019.
“While online retailing provides access to cannabis products to all Canadians, regardless of proximity to a physical store, accessibility continues to increase as stores open across the country,” the Statistics Canada report concludes. So , the retail cannabis market will continue to evolve as jurisdictions adapt their regulatory approaches, supply chains are established and available cannabis products diversify. »
Sales figures are well below the pre-legalization forecasts. Deloitte for instance , estimated that the Canadian legal cannabis industry could reach $4.34 billion in the first year of legalization . And that the majority of purchases would occur through the legal market rather than from illicit sources.
However, the illicit market still accounts for between 70 and 80 % of all cannabis sales in the first year of legalization, due to the lack of access to points of sale, lower quality products, and legal prices well above those on the black market.