BC’s cannabis market continues to mature, as sales appear to plateau

| David Brown

The declining price of cannabis means wholesale cannabis sales in BC in the last three months of 2023 were down from the previous three months, even as the volume of cannabis sold increased.

The figures were released as part of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch’s (LDB) Q3 report for 2023, covering October, November, and December.

Following an ongoing trend over several reporting periods now, 28 gram and 3.5 gram SKUs sold the most in terms of dollars, while 7 gram and 14 gram formats saw the most significant year-over-year increase in terms of dollars and grams sold. 

Sales of 3.5 gram SKUs were down 21% from the same period last year in terms of dollars and 14% in terms of grams sold. 

Sales (in dollars) of 7 gram SKUs increased by 81% and 80% in grams sold, while 14 gram SKUs increased 26% (in dollars sold) and 45% in grams sold. Sales in dollars in the 28 gram category increased 11%, while they also increased 18% in grams sold. 

Sales were up for all producers in terms of units sold and year-over-year sales except for ingestible extracts, which declined following Health Canada’s ruling that some of these products are non-compliant. 

Sales for beverages were up 21% from the same period last year in terms of dollars sold and units sold, edibles by 19% in sales and 46% in terms of units sold, flower sales in dollars were up by 9% and 4% by units, inhalable extracts sales were up 40% and 45% in units, pre-rolls up 20% and 34% in units, seeds up 10% in sales and 49% in units, topicals up 9% and 15%.

Ingestible extract sales were down 13% in terms of dollars and 20% in terms of units. Drilling down in this category, oils and tinctures were down 18% in dollars sold and units sold, while capsules and pills increased by 27% in dollars sold and 22% in grams/volume. Other ingestibles (i.e. products like lozenges that are consumed as edibles but classified by producers as extracts) were down nearly 66% in sales and SKUs sold.

Sales of disposable vape pens saw a significant increase, by about 100% in sales and units. Sales of shatter, vape kits, and wax were down in dollars and volume. Wax saw the biggest decline, with 74% less sold in dollars and SKUs.

Infused pre-rolls saw a big jump, with an 83% increase in sales and 73% increase in units sold. Resin and Rosin sales increased by 54% in dollars and 69% in SKUs.

Cart sales were up 21%, while units-moved increased by 23%.

The most popular edibles were chews or gummies, with 89% of sales, followed by chocolate at 8%, baked goods at less than 2%, and edibles and hard candies at 1%.

Infographic via bcldb.com

Inhalable extracts are divided with carts at about 48% of sales in dollars sold, followed by inhalable extracts like infused pre-rolls at 38%. Disposable vape pens were about 4% of sales, followed by resin, rosin, shatter, and hash at under 3% each.

Direct Delivery

Sales in Direct Delivery increased as well, with 702,478 grams sold in Q3 2023 compared to 362,180 last year, a 94% increase in volume for a total of $3,167,456 in sales, compared to $2,575,585 in the same quarter in 2022. 

However, this was a decline from the previous quarter, where sales were 821,718 grams sold for a total of $3,777,539 in sales.

Wholesale sales in Direct Delivery increased by 23% from the same period last year, with almost $3.2 million sold. The average price per gram sold in DD was $4.51, and $3.93 for flower, down from $7.11 and $6.45 last year.

This decline in sales from Q2 2023 was driven by lower sales of cannabis flower, with $2,259,307 in Q2 and $1,863,265 in Q3. Pre-roll sales were $896,215, down from $968,026 in the previous year.

via bcldb.com

Sales of edibles and beverages were up 25% from the same quarter last year, with $16,169 sold in Q3 2023 vs $12,945 in Q3 2022.

Ingestible Extracts were way up compared to the same period last year and last quarter. In Q3 2023, sales of this product category were $24,502, doubling from $12,923 in Q2 2023 and tripling from Q3 2022’s $8,773.

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