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Cannabis News / Insight

Dried cannabis sales represent 73% of Canadian market

After a brief pause from March to June, Health Canada has again begun publishing their monthly market update for the cannabis industry, with increases in packaged units of cannabis products sold as well as in cultivation and processing space, across Canada. 

Dried cannabis sales continue to represent the most significant portion of the market, with 73% of total sales. Cannabis extracts sales represent 14% of total sales and edible cannabis sales representing 12% of total sales. 

The inventory of packaged, dried cannabis continues to increase, while sales of medical and non medical cannabis remain relatively level. 

Provincial and territorial distributors and retailers hold 41% of the total inventory of packaged units of cannabis products in Canada. The total inventory of packaged units of dried cannabis held by federally-licensed cultivators and processors, as well as provincial and territorial distributors and retailers is 5.8 times total sales, while total inventory of packaged units of cannabis extracts represents 8.6 times total sales.

Unpackaged inventory of dried cannabis at licensed producer’s facilities also continues to increase while unpackaged inventory has increased slightly. Cannabis held in stock by a cultivator or processor that is not packaged for sale to consumers at the retail level.

Inventory at provincial distributors and retailers has also increased slightly from previous months. Packaged unit inventory for federal licence holders jumped from to 1,879,271 in March to 2,670,393 in April.

Inventory of packaged units of edibles at provincial distributors and retailers increased from 1,547,073 in March to 2,015,202 in April.

Packaged units of cannabis extracts at federal licence holders increased slightly from March, from 6,261,853 units to 6,931,819. Sales of cannabis extracts in the non-medical market increased in April to 813,972 from 791,435 in March. Sales of concentrates in the medical space decreased from 313,932 in March to 280,039 in April. 

Sales of packaged units of cannabis topicals increased significantly in April, up to 1,736 from only 202 in March. Sales of topicals in the medical space in April were 165 units, compared to none in March, with the only other month showing any units sold since their arrival being six units sold in December. 

Packaged inventory of cannabis topicals at federal licence holders decreased significantly in April, down to 5,341 from 23,536 in March. This is largely reflected in an increase in the same inventory in provincial distributors and retailers, with 31,776 units in their inventory in April compared to 2,798 in March. 

The number of flowering plants at federal license holders has also continued to increase, with Unpackaged production and Unpackaged inventory of flowering plants increasing to 4,974,021 in April from 4,679,476 in March. 

Unpackaged inventory represents cannabis held in stock by a cultivator or processor that is not packaged for sale to consumers at the retail level. Unpackaged production represents the amount of cannabis produced from activities conducted onsite by cultivators and/or processors and added to the unpackaged inventory during the reporting period.

Unpackaged production and Unpackaged inventory of clones with federal licensed holders increased slightly, from 5,729,816 in April to 5,634,718 in March. Sales of clones, through both the medical and non medical sales channels continue to decline from six months ago, with only four clones sold in April through the medical channel, compared to 78 in October in 2019 and none sold in the non medical stream in April, compared to 24 in October 2019.

Packaged units of cannabis seeds at federal licence holders more than doubled in April, up to 9,171 from 4,779 in March. Packaged units of cannabis seeds at provincial distributors and retailers declined slightly in April, at 5,552 units compared to 6,973, in March. This is about half of what provincial distributors and retailers had in inventory in October 2019 (10,373 units).

Sales of seeds in the non-medical stream increased slightly in April, up to 1,798 from 1,469 in March. Only 677 sold in October 2019. Sales of seeds in the medical stream have remained relatively average, with 62 sold in April compared to 73 in March and 68 in October 2019, followed by a decline from November to February. 

Licensed cultivation area for federal licence holders also continues to increase, up to 2,114,258 square meters of indoor cultivation in April compared to 2,016,458 in March and 1,366,861 in October 2019. 

Processing space also continues to increase, with 354,889m2 approved in April compared to 336,456 in March and 130,269 in October 2019.

Outdoor cultivation area increased modestly, as well, up to 280 hectares in April compared to 277 in March and 232 in October 2019.

About Author

David Brown writes about cannabis policy and industry stuff and lives in British Columbia. He likes plants.