Canada’s retail cannabis market achieves record-breaking sales

Bethan Rose Jenkins

This past July, retail sales of recreational cannabis in Canada climbed 15.2 percent from the month prior. Based on the sales surge, 231.6 million Canadian dollars (USD$175.6 million) in transactions were recorded.

According to analysts from Statistics Canada, recent sales of adult-use cannabis in Canada suggest that the market’s annual value could be almost CA$2.8 billion (USD$2.1 billion).

Sales were up across every Canadian province in July, with the most densely populated province of Ontario pulling in CA$60.3 million (USD$45 million) — a 23.5 percent monthly increase.

Strong sales of recreational cannabis in Canada attributed to store license count

Back in June, the number of store licenses distributed among cannabis business owners in Ontario exceeded 100 for the first time. Increasing the number of licenses was a necessity, what with concerns being raised regarding the province’s deficiency in dispensaries. Thanks to the rise of licensed retail outlets in Ontario, sales of recreational cannabis in Canada have since taken a hike up north.

Some of the licensees were able to claim more than one license. Co-founder and CEO of Sessions Cannabis, Steven Fry, is one such example. The “cannapreneur” has already opened five retail stores in Ontario and he anticipates that he will open an additional 27 by April of next year. 

Fry saw a major boost in weekly sales after he opened two new Sessions stores in the province this past July; proof that licensed brick-and-mortar businesses are financially benefiting the country’s economy.

“I think you’ll see that trend continue. People really want to go in brick-and-mortar stores, they want to engage with staff, they want to learn about the products, they want to have that convenience available to them,” said Fry, adding that “as more and more stores open up, you’ll see those numbers increase even further in the market here.”

Sales of recreational cannabis in Canada expected to remain strong through 2020

Based on the consistent growth of recreational cannabis sales in Canada, there’s a good chance that figures will remain strong for the remainder of the year. Take Alberta, for example, where there are significantly more cannabis retail stores per capita than there are in any other Canadian province.

Despite British Columbia and Quebec being more densely populated than Alberta, they lagged behind in terms of adult-use cannabis sales. July sales in Alberta hit CA$51.8 million (USD$38.7 million) – representing a 10.9 percent monthly increase – whereas British Columbia pulled in CA$34.6 million (USD$25.8 million) and Quebec recorded CA$43.9 million (USD$32.8 million) in sales. 

Over in Manitoba, sales grew 10.8 percent from June to CA$9.1 million (USD$6.8 million). Meanwhile, Saskatchewan registered 6.8 percent monthly growth in July, when cannabis retail sales were CA$11.9 million (USD$8.8 million).

In eastern Canada, cannabis retail sales for the month of July were USD$4.8 million in New Brunswick (+20.9 percent), USD$3.1 million in Newfoundland (+25.3 percent), USD$5.2 million in Nova Scotia (+12.2 percent) and CA$1.5 million in Prince Edward Island (+35.3 percent).

Further insights into sales of recreational cannabis in Canada can be viewed when August retail trade figures are published on October 21. (Originally Published on

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