Canadian cannabis sales up 157% over past three years: Report

It’s been nearly five years since Canada federally legalized adult-use cannabis in October 2018, and a recent report indicates the nascent industry has seen significant growth in recent years.

Cannabis sales in Canada increased 157% from May 2020 to May 2023, according to a report from Headset, a cannabis data and intelligence firm.

While cannabis sales have certainly been on the rise in The Great North, the rate of sales growth has slowed with each passing year. From 2020 to 2021, for example, Canadian cannabis sales skyrocketed 88.3%, compared to just 11.8% sales growth between 2022 and 2023, according to Headset.

Canada’s cannabis industry has also diversified from 2020 to 2023. The number of cannabis brands in the Canadian market increased by 369% over the past three years, which has led to more product options for consumers.

However, that drastic increase in cannabis brands has also led to a 70% decrease in median total sales per brand, according to the report. Relatedly, the top 21% of cannabis brands accounted for 80% of total sales in 2021; in 2023, however, just the top 12% of cannabis brands accounted for 80% of all cannabis sales.

Headset notes that Canada’s overall cannabis sales growth over the past three years stems more from an increase in retail dispensary store count as opposed to consumer demand. While Canadian cannabis sales are up 157% overall since May 2020, the average monthly sales per store in Ontario has dropped by about 20% in the past year. This is largely offset by about a 40% growth in retail dispensary store count in Ontario over past year, Headset reports.

By product category, flower remains the most popular product for Canadian cannabis consumers to purchase with a 36.5% market share. That figure, however, marks a 15.8% decrease from 43.4% market share for flower in 2022. Pre-rolls, meanwhile, saw a 23.5% increase in market share over the past year, totaling 28.9% of all cannabis product sales in Canada.

Vapes (18.6% market share, up 7.1%), edibles (6.6% market share, up 12.8%), beverages (2.1% market share, up 5.2%) and concentrates (4.0% market share, up 1.6%) all also saw increases in market share from 2022 to 2023.

Visit here to read more insights from Headset’s full report, “Canadian cannabis overview: a look at the last 5 years of recreational sales.”

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Zach Mentz

Zach Mentz is an editor at Flavor Fix, covering cannabis, CBD and alcohol news and featured stories. Previously, he worked as senior editor of Cannabis Business Times (CBT). Mentz is a graduate of the Tim Russert Department of Communication at John Carroll University.

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