Economy

NWT’s legal cannabis sales hit $1 million per quarter


Legal cannabis sales in the Northwest Territories are consistently reaching more than $1 million per quarter for the first time since legalization two years ago.

Figures released by the NWT Liquor and Cannabis Commission last week show the territory’s residents spent $1.21 million on cannabis through NWT government stores between July and September.

That represented a slight increase on the $1.007 million spent at the same stores from April to June.

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Sales dropped slightly over the past three months in Norman Wells, Hay River, and online, but rose 32 percent in Fort Simpson, 31 percent in Yellowknife, and 19 percent in Fort Smith over the same time period.

An study by the Canadian Red Cross has suggested that, early in the pandemic, a quarter of Canadians who consume cannabis reported using it more frequently during Covid-19 than in an average month pre-pandemic.

While NWT sales of legal cannabis are increasing, the limited data available makes it difficult to know if that increase is pandemic-related or simply reflective of growing interest in legal cannabis.

As a whole, Canada has seen an upward trend in sales nearly every month over the past two years.

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That said, sales in Yellowknife and Fort Simpson almost doubled between the opening three months of 2020, largely pre-pandemic, and the three Covid-interrupted summer months of July, August, and September.

The vast majority of the NWT’s spending is on dried cannabis. Between July and September this year, residents spent more than $1 million on cannabis in that form alone. The remaining $200,000 was spent on oil, capsules, edibles, extracts, and seeds.

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