Statistics Canada report shows February 2021 cannabis sales of $262.9 million

Report by statistics agency indicates annual increase of cannabis receipts by more than 73 percent.

Report by Statistics Canada covers 19 categories, including cannabis products. HighGradeRoots/Getty Images

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A new Statistics Canada report on retail sales indicates strong growth in the cannabis sector.

To illustrate, the report shows a 73.1 percent increase in year-over-year transactions in February 2021.

In that month, retailers sold $262,957,000 worth of cannabis products.

The number nearly doubles the $151,930,000 worth of cannabis purchased by consumers in February 2020.

However, February 2021 statistics represent a decrease from the previous month.

In detail, users bought $279,495,000 worth of cannabis in January 2021.

Statistics Canada on February 19, 2021 released its year-end sales figures for 2020, the second full year of legal cannabis.

The federal agency reported at the time that sales at cannabis stores more than doubled (120.5 percent) in 2020.

Consumers bought $2.6 billion worth of legal recreational cannabis products in 2020.

In addition, Statistics Canada noted that the number of legal weed stores increased from 760 in 2019 to 1,400 last year.

Statistics Canada notes rise in cannabis use

On April 21, the federal agency reported that cannabis use continues to increase.

To illustrate, Statistics Canada noted that one in five people or 20 percent reported having used recreational cannabis during the fourth quarter of 2020.

This represents an increase from the 18 percent rate of use in the first quarter of 2019. The period followed legalization of cannabis in the preceding year.

Additionally, in the first quarter of 2018 leading up to legalization, 14 percent of Canadians reported using cannabis.

“In addition to the legislative change, there were other changes too, such as the rising social acceptability of cannabis in Canada and the United States, accompanied by a growing perception that cannabis is harmless,” Statistics Canada reported.

Meanwhile, a market update released by the Chicago-based Brightfield Group forecasts sales rising to $4.1 billion in 2021.

To explain, this represents a 60 percent increase over $2.6 billion worth of recreational cannabis purchases in 2020.

Additionally, the Brightfield Group report anticipates sales to continue rising over the next five years following 2021.

Statistics Canada’s report on retail sales for February 2021 came out on May 7.

The report indicated that total retail sales in that month increased 2.2 percent year-over-year to $43.9 billion compared to February 2020.

Moreover, the largest increase in dollar terms came from food, which posted an annual growth of 8.7 percent.

“This marked the third consecutive month that food sales led all growth in the sector, as restrictions related to the pandemic continued to drive customers to retail,” the statistics agency reported.

Food receipts totaled $9.4 billion in February 2021.

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