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2021-12-22 12:45:13

Cannabis in Canada: 2021 Recap

The Canadian cannabis market is wrapping up its third year of legalization, and what a ride its been.

The beginning of legalization saw intense competition from the black market thanks to lack of brick and mortar stores and high product pricing.

Three years later, things have changed- a lot.

Today, the legal market is trending positively, and recreational cannabis sales are on the rise.

With the data we have provided by Health Canada, Statistics Canada as well as top market researchers like Cannabis Benchmarks we are able to get an efficient glimpse at how the market is evolving.

Let’s take a look at the highs and lows of 2021.

Cannabis In Canada: Q1

The year started out with a decrease in cannabis sales due to the holiday season.

According to Statistics Canada, cannabis sales for the country hit $262.9 million in February.

Between January and February, Cannabis sales grew by $0.38 million per day.

As it sits in Q1, most markets look like they are starting to plateau- except for Ontario.

The growth for the cannabis industry in Ontario continues on an upward growth trajectory as their number of operational retailers continues to grow.

Cannabis In Canada: Q2

According to data points pulled from Statistics Canada, the first half of the year cannabis sales in Canada increased by 68% compared to 2020.

From January to June total cannabis sales reached 1.78 billion. Daily sales in the last month of Q2 hit $10.6 million.

In June (the end of Q2) monthly legal cannabis sales in Canada reached a new high hitting $318.7 million.

Q2 was an extremely successful quarter as June also marked the third month where legal cannabis sales in Canada reached over $300 million.

That means the new baseline for the industry has increased.

A big factor of this increase is cannabis consumers are opting to purchase products from the legal market as opposed to the blackmarket thanks to retail prices becoming what consumers describe as fair.

Cannabis In Canada: Q3

The quarterly details released by Statistics Canada show how well the legal cannabis market is growing in Canada.

Compared to the same time in 2020, Q3 recreational cannabis sales across Canada (Excluding PEI and the Territories) grew 42% to 1,167 million. Blackmarket (illicit) sales dropped by 13% to only $690 million.

According to a report from Cannabis Benchmarks, the total recreational, medical, and illicit sales of cannabis, the total sales were 21.5 million dollars per day for Q3.

The cannabis experts at MJBizDaily break down Canadian cannabis sales in September as follows:

Alberta: $60 million
British Columbia: 49.2 million
Ontario: 141.6 million
Quebec: 51.3 million
Saskatchewan: 13.6 million
Labrador & Newfoundland: 5.3 million
Nova Scotia: 8 million
New Brunswick: 7.3 million

This quarter also shows cannabis sales are gaining traction against alcohol and tobacco sales.

Cannabis sales made up for just over 13.5% of the market in these categories at the end of Q3.

That’s a 6% increase from the beginning of legalization in 2018 and 1% increase from this time last year.

Cannabis in Canada: Q4

The average monthly growth for retail cannabis stores in Canada is 7% or 127 stores. Cannabis Benchmarks counted 2,810 licensed cannabis retailers as of November 30th.

Cannabis Benchmarks assesses the average selling price of cannabis per gram each week. Throughout the year it has fluctuated with

As of December 17th, Cannabis Benchmarks assessed the CCSI (Canada Cannabis Spot Index) at $5.02 per gram, which is $0.87 less than January 2021.

Just like what we see in Q1, Q4 wraps up positively for Ontario’s cannabis market. Their brick and mortar retail grew intensely in 2021.

At the end of Q3, Ontario made up for over half of total cannabis sales.

The Future of Cannabis in Canada

We won’t see the entire picture of Q4 until at least February or March 2022.

What we currently know is that the legal cannabis market in Canada is trending in a positive direction.

Thanks to an increase in brick and mortar locations as well as a decrease in pricing, more consumers are veering away from the illicit market.

Cannabis investors are merging companies, and big players like Pure Sunfarms have set the bar for high- quality cannabis at a fair pricepoint.


About the author: Heather Burton

Heather lives with her husband and two children in beautiful British Columbia. Her passion has always been to enhance the lives of others by helping them reach their business goals.

Content management is her specialty, and writing is what she does best. Working specifically in the cannabis market, Heather strives to help dispensaries, patients, doctors, manufacturers and recreational users by giving them the voice they need. When she is not writing, you can find her anywhere outdoors and away from the screen.

Last Update 2021-12-22 12:45:13
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Published In Legality / News