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Manitoba records highest cannabis sales spike in Canada

It seems more Manitobans are reaching for a joint or edible instead of a pint.

New data from Statistics Canada found Manitoba had the highest rise in recreational cannabis sales across Canada in the 2022/2023 fiscal year at 23 per cent.

That’s higher than the national average, which was up 15.8 per cent from a year earlier. That equates to $4.7 billion in cannabis sales in Canada.

Manitoba also leads the way in a decline in beer sales, falling by 6.7 per cent in 2022/23 compared to the year before.

Conversely, Nunavut saw the biggest increase. That territory was up 27 per cent.

Nationally, the total value of beer sales by liquor stores, agencies and other retail outlets grew 4.1 per cent to $9.3 billion last fiscal year – the first increase in four years.

Still, beer sales by volume declined nationally at 65.1 litres per person of legal drinking age – an all-time low since the government agency began tracking alcohol sales in 1949.

Beer wasn’t the only libation to take a tumble.

Wine sales fell three per cent to 500 million litres across Canada. That’s the equivalent of 2.2 standard glasses of wine per week per person 18 years and up.

This marked the second consecutive year that sales of wine by volume declined in the country.

Meantime, sales of ciders and coolers by volume held steady, with a slight increase of 0.6 per cent. They were the lone beverage category to see an increase in sales by volume.

Overall, the federal and provincial governments raked in $15.5 billion from the sale of alcohol and recreational cannabis last fiscal year, a 2.5 per cent rise from the year before.

Statistics Canada says this was driven by increased prices. From March 2022 to March 2023, the prices of alcoholic beverages rose 5.9 per cent.

The data was compiled based on sales volumes reported by liquor authorities and their agencies, including sales by wineries, brewers, cannabis authorities and other legal outlets.

The full report from Statistics Canada can be read on its website.

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