Adult-use cannabis sales in Canada’s largest consumer market more than doubled in April on the back of new store openings, representing “powerful evidence” of pent-up demand for regulated marijuana after months of stagnation, according to experts.
Receipts of recreational-use cannabis products in Ontario totaled 19.6 million Canadian dollars ($15.1 million) in the month, recent data from Statistics Canada shows, up from CA$7.6 in March and CA$7.5 million in February.
April’s receipts consider the first monthly sales at fewer than two-dozen physical stores in the province.
“This is remarkable given only a handful of stores in Ontario opened on the April 1 inauguration date,” Chris Damas, editor of BCMI Cannabis Report, said in a note to investors.
Damas expects sales in the province to climb in May and June before leveling off after Ontario’s 25-store cap is reached.
“I would imagine May and June are going to show additional gains in Ontario cannabis sales but more moderate after the initial store-opening publicity-fueled excitement,” he told Marijuana Business Daily.
“The Ontario April sales numbers are powerful evidence that there is significant pent-up demand for cannabis, in spite of the existence of the provincial online store.”
Ontario’s 25-store limit contrasts with Alberta’s approach, which has a plan to get to over 200 cannabis stores this year.
The government-run OCS expects to lose CA$25 million selling marijuana this year.
Across Canada, consumers purchased CA$74.6 million of cannabis products through regulated retailers in April, according to the Statistics Canada data. That’s an increase of 22% from the previous month.
Ontario accounted for 87% of that growth.