Cannabis sales in Canada rose 19 percent in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Statistics Canada figures released on Friday. In all, Canadians bought CAD$181 million in cannabis products in the month of March.
Cannabis sales bucked overall consumer trends in the nation during the nation’s pandemic response which included stay-at-home orders. Retail sales, for example, plummeted 10 percent or CAD$47.1 billion which Statistics Canada described as “the largest drop on record” for retail sales in the country month-over-month.
Cannabis was considered an essential industry nationally in Canada although some companies did close dispensaries for in-person sales, opting instead for online sales and delivery. The only province to shut down in-person cannabis sales entirely was Prince Edward Island in March and the province allowed in-person sales to reconvene just last week, Complex reports.
Ontario recorded the highest sales totals with CAD$47 million in March, followed by Alberta with CAD$40 million, and Quebec with CAD$37 million. Quebec also saw the biggest month-over-month increase of 27 percent.
According to government data, Canadians spent CAD$1,496 per household by the end of 2019 on both medical and recreational cannabis products.
Statistics Canada estimated that the nation could see a 16 percent cannabis sales increase in April. In March 2019, cannabis sales in Canada were $60 million.