Legal Cannabis Sales Continue To Rise

One-quarter of all cannabis sales in the first quarter of this year took place at legal, regulated retail outlets, new data from the Ontario Cannabis Store shows.

The provincial pot distributor's quarterly review showed that the province controlled 25.1% of the cannabis market in the fiscal first quarter of 2020, a slight increase from the 24.7% share of the market observed in the previous quarter.

The market share gains indicate that Canada's approach to legalizing cannabis for recreational use is gaining traction among consumers. Additional data showed that household spending on legal cannabis in the second quarter of 2020 outpaced the illegal market for the first time.

The Ontario Cannabis Store also said in its quarterly review that its $7.05-per-gram sale price for dried flower is now cheaper than the average price offered by illegal mail-order marijuana sites that charge $7.98.

The discount comes as large-format 28-gram value offerings become increasingly popular in the legal retail market. Those products accounted for 3.9% of all dried flower sales last quarter, nearly four times the total observed at the end of last year.

The province's cannabis operator also highlighted which companies led certain product categories in the second quarter of 2020. Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED) owns three of the top five most popular beverage brands in Ontario, while Bhang Corp.'s (CSE:BHNG) chocolates have a 30% share of the edibles category. Redecan leads in dried flower and vapes with 13% and 22% shares.