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A recent report released by Statistics Canada shows that Canadians are now purchasing less alcohol and more recreational cannabis.

The new data shows that alcohol sales based on volume sold have declined in Canada for the second consecutive year, with a reduction of 1.1% or 3,106 million litres over the period spanning 2022-2023. Specifically, beer sales are at an all-time low since data collection started in 1949, dropping to an average of 3.6 standard bottles per week per person of legal age in 2022-2023. However, it was also found that revenue from beer increased by 4.4%, for the first time in four years.

Similarly, the volume of wine sold has also decreased. In 2022-2023, Canadians purchased the equivalent of 2.2 glasses of wine per week, which corresponds to a 3.0% decrease from the previous year. Moreover, wine sales have also dropped for the second consecutive year.

“Wine was the only beverage category that lost market share compared with 2021/2022, falling from 30.6% to 29.9% of total sales in Canada, its lowest level since 2010/2011,” the report notes.

However, the report reveals that recreational cannabis sales by provincial authorities increased by 15.8% over one year. Moreover, Canadians spent a total of $4.7 billion in the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, which corresponds to an increase of $0.6 billion from the previous year. The analysis carried out by Statistics Canada shows that every Canadian of legal age is spending $150 per year on recreational cannabis products, a trend which has been steadily increasing since cannabis legalization in 2018.

Furthermore, sales for recreational products consumed by smoking and vaping increased by 59% in 2022/2023, which is the highest increase compared to other forms of recreational cannabis consumption.

“This category was the biggest contributor to the increase in cannabis sales, accounting for two-thirds (67.6%) of the $0.6 billion increase overall,” the report says. Further analysis showed that Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the highest growth of inhaled extract sales, with an increase of 307.7%, after the reversal of the ban on the category in 2022.

Dried cannabis was the most popular type of cannabis in 2022-2023, similar to the previous year, while sales declined to 64.9% compared to 71.0% in 2021-2022.

The report showed that federal and provincial governments earned 24.2% more in recreational cannabis sales during the 2022/2023 fiscal year compared to the previous year, compared to an increase of 0.1% for alcohol sales. Overall, total alcohol sales revenue in Canada in 2022-2023 was significantly higher compared to cannabis, totalling $13.6 billion, while cannabis sales brought in $1.9 billion.