Ontario's limping legal cannabis market seems to be finally catching a break. Legal cannabis sales have nearly doubled since licensed cannabis retailers began opening in the province last April.
Ever since cannabis legalization took effect in October of 2018, legal sales have lagged behind in Canada's most populous province compared to other jurisdictions, which have significantly smaller markets. Until recently, the only place where Ontarians could purchase legal weed was from the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), an online-only sales platform.
However, OCS faced a number of problems in its early days of operation and has seen backlash from consumers over service problems. Those factors have made it extremely difficult for the province to compete with the black market for marijuana. Still, industry insiders were optimistic that things would start to come around once brick-and-mortar pot shops finally opened up in the province.
And it appears that those insiders were right. Since physical cannabis retailers began opening their doors at the start of April, legal cannabis sales have seen a huge increase in Ontario. In April, recreational cannabis sales totaled C$19 million (US$14.4 million), that's more than double the C$7.5 million (US$5.9 million) brought in over the previous month. It also marks the first time that legal sales in Ontario have outperformed every other province.
What's more, this increase in sales comes despite the fact that Ontario only licensed 25 stores to sell recreational cannabis, many of which faced delays in opening or have yet to begin sales.
So it looks like that Ontario's legal market is starting to turn a corner.
h/t: The GrowthOp