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Legal Canadian Cannabis Sales Dropped In February 2024

Canada became the first G-7 nation to adopt a national recreational cannabis legalization measure back in 2018, and the second country to ever pass a national adult-use legalization measure, only behind Uruguay which passed legalization in 2013.

The recreational Canadian market is the largest national adult-use market on the planet, with consumers having a number of different ways to legally source their cannabis products, from ordering cannabis through the mail to brick and mortar stores.

According to recently published sales data by Statistics Canada, legal cannabis sales decreased in February 2024 compared to January 2024, as initially reported by New Cannabis Ventures.

“Statistics Canada released February retail sales for the country, with cannabis sales decreasing from the January levels, down 6.4% to C$376.2 million. On a per-day basis, sales sales rose 0.4%. January was revised higher to C$402.0 million. The sales were up just 3.3% from a year ago.” New Cannabis Ventures stated in its reporting.

“This was down from the 19.8% August growth rate and up from the lowest annual  growth rate since legalization commenced in January of 1.6%.  In 2023, total sales increased 12.5% to C$5.09 billion, and in 2024 they have increased just 2.4% from a year ago.” New Cannabis Ventures also stated.

According to additional data that was recently published by Statistics Canada, “In 2023, more than one-third of adults aged 18 to 24 years (38.4%) and 25 to 44 years (34.5%) reported using cannabis in the previous 12 months, compared with 15.5% of adults aged 45 years and older.”

Statistics Canada also found that 8.7% of adults aged 18 to 24 years and 10.3% of adults aged 25 to 44 years report consuming cannabis daily or almost daily.

Additionally, “over two in three” cannabis consumers bought their cannabis from regulated sources according to government data. Statistics Canada estimates that the nation is home to “more than 3,000 legal cannabis stores.”

According to survey data, Statistics Canada found that “the main reasons reported for buying cannabis from a legal source were product safety (38.0%), convenience (16.9%) and a desire to follow the law (12.9%).”

Cannabis flower is the top selling product in Canada’s legal market, accounting for 64.9% of total industry sales. Total sales of recreational cannabis by provincial cannabis authorities and other retail outlets increased 15.8% in the 2022/2023 fiscal year, reaching a total of $4.7 billion in sales. The sales of ‘inhaled extracts,’ or concentrates, increased by 59% during the 2022/2023 fiscal year.

“Canadians of legal age spent on average $150 per year per person on cannabis in 2022/2023.” stated Statistics Canada.

Canada’s emerging legal cannabis industry is generating a consider sum for public coffers, which benefits all of Canadian society, not just cannabis consumers. Statistics Canada has determined that, “Federal and provincial governments received $1.9 billion from the control and sale of recreational cannabis in 2022/2023, up by almost one-quarter (+24.2%) from a year earlier.”