The coronavirus pandemic may have negatively affected many industries and businesses but British Columbia has seen a record amount of marijuana sales during this time.

According to Statistics Canada, which revealed data on August 21st, B.C.’s legal cannabis retailers sold $29,393,000 worth of recreational marijuana products in June – almost seven times the $4,230,000 in revenue that they generated in June of 2019.

June represents the sixth straight month when the province’s legal cannabis retailers have sold a record-high value of products.

Canadian legal cannabis retailers as a whole sold more than $201 million worth of cannabis in June, which is about 119% more than the nearly $91.7 million in cannabis sales that the nation’s cannabis retailers sold in the same month a year ago.

Some factors at play, particularly in B.C., include:
•more legal stores;

•fewer black-market stores;
•newly legal product categories, such as edibles;
•improved product quality; and
•customers’ desire to stock up when governments were starting to restrict business operations to slow the spread of the global pandemic.

Another thing that has changed since March in B.C. is that the government now allows legal private retailers to conduct e-commerce transactions, although customers must still pick up their purchase at physical stores, and not have the products delivered.

B.C. had issued 135 retail licences to entrepreneurs who wanted to open cannabis stores in October, 2019, just before the one year-anniversary of Canada legalizing adult-use cannabis consumption.

The number went from 176 by the end of 2019 and then to 254 by May 27, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth told BIV in May. B.C.’s website on August 21 listed 264 licences granted for retail cannabis stores.

B.C. ranked fourth among provinces for cannabis sales in June, behind Ontario ($48,852,000), Alberta ($46,707,000), and Quebec ($39,992,000).

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