Three month decline in retail cannabis sales in 2023

| Staff

Cannabis retail sales continued to decline in Canada from a peak in August 2023, according to new figures from Statistics Canada.

Cannabis sales reached a record high of $589 million in the summer of 2023 before experiencing three straight months of decline, ending with sales of $511 million in November of the same year.

Sales in November 2023 were still higher than November 2022 at $445 million, and the same as the previous year’s peak of sales in December, which was also $511 million. All numbers are using retail sales at 2017 constant prices.

Cannabis sales have declined every November since 2020 before experiencing a boost in December and another decline in January and February, a trend seen in many retail sectors. In November 2022, sales dropped to $411 million from a peak of $471 million that August, before peaking at $511 million for the year. Sales fell to $442 million in February 2023.

While sales still show increases on an annual basis, the three-month decline in retail cannabis sales in 2023 was the steepest overall decline since legalization. The decline comes at a time when both the cannabis industry and the broader Canadian economy are facing challenges, with consumer spending in many sectors declining, including food and beverages and beer and wine. 

The number of retail stores across Canada also continues to grow, although the pace has slowed considerably compared to the first four years of legalization. As of October 2023, there were 3,682 (up from 3,654 in October) cannabis stores in Canada, excluding provincial online stores.

  • British Columbia: 511 public and private stores, either open or “coming soon”, a decline from 513 in October.
  • Alberta: 749
  • Saskatchewan: 185 (up from 176 in October)
  • Manitoba: 198, 115 of which are in Winnipeg (up from 194 in October)
  • Ontario: 1,778 listed as authorized to open (up from 1,770 in October)
  • Quebec: 104 (up from 98 in October)
  • New Brunswick: 25 public stores, plus seven private stores and six farmgate stores for a total of 38
  • Nova Scotia: 49
  • PEI: 4 
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 52 (from 49 in October)
  • Northwest Territories: 6 brick-and-mortar locations, plus 1 private online store
  • Nunavut: 1
  • Yukon: 6

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