- The Growth Op @growthop
Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation sees cannabis and alcohol sales inch higher
The opening of 18 new cannabis stores in Nova Scotia helped send Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation’s (NSLC) total sales upward during the second quarter of its fiscal year.
In releasing numbers for the quarter, which runs from July 5 to Oct. 3, NSLC witnessed a 5.1 per cent hike in total sales thanks to both alcohol and cannabis compared to the prior-year quarter.
“Overall, sales increases can be attributed to three extra selling days due to Sunday closures last year, increased store hours due to pandemic restrictions in Q2 last year and the addition of 18 new cannabis stores (two of which opened this quarter),” notes a statement from the NSLC. The province’s weed store count now stands at 33.
Cannabis, however, proved the star of the 2021 Q2 compared to the same prior-year quarter. While there was growth across all categories, cannabis led “that growth with a 31.6 per cent increase in sales to $5.5 million,” notes the provincial government statement.
The NSLC reports it now carries “products from 12 local producers with two of them providing the popular 28-gram pack sizes.” Indeed, the average price per gram has decreased 13 per cent to $6.50, “making NSLC cannabis prices more competitive with the illicit market,” the agency adds.
For their parts, the government reports that wine sales in Nova Scotia rose 28.5 per cent to $4.7 million, local craft beer sales grew 22.9 per cent to $7.7 million, spirits sales increased 19.6 per cent to $3.2 million and ready-to-drink sales were up 3.4 per cent to $10 million.
“We’re pleased to see that sales to bars, pubs and restaurants recovered from the prior year as the province progresses though its reopening plan,” NSLC president and CEO Greg Hughes says in the agency statement.
The provincial government reports that, overall, NSLC saw its earnings rise 0.8 per cent to $78.4 million. But news on the store transactions front was considerably more encouraging, up 7.3 per cent.
Perhaps less promising, but still expected, was that NSLC witnessed a 1.4 per cent decrease in the average dollar value of each transaction. The corporation suggests this indicates “a continued gradual return to pre-pandemic purchasing patterns.”
A Canadian study published in late 2020 found that “a large proportion of those who used cannabis have increased cannabis use during the pandemic.”
Findings of another study released this past May noted that 50 per cent of respondents increased how much cannabis they used and 44 per cent upped alcohol consumption to combat their negative feeling during the pandemic.
That said, figures from Statistics Canada this spring indicate that, overall, the habits of most Canadians who were already consuming alcohol and cannabis pre-pandemic have remained relatively stable.
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