That represents a quarter-over-quarter increase of 11.1 percentage points, which the OCS called “the single largest jump in market capture from the illegal market.”
The OCS attributed its legal market share estimate to Statistics Canada data and its own calculations.
The increase in legal market share coincided with a long-delayed increase in the number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores in Ontario, where more than 100 retailers were licensed to open by late June and officials started ramping up the pace of licensing in September.
The vast majority of Ontario’s legal cannabis sales during the quarter – more than 85% – occurred in physical retail stores.
“The number of stores hit 183 by the end of the quarter and is over 280 at the time of publication of this report,” OCS President and CEO Thomas Haig noted in his introduction to the report.
“This is a clear indicator that continued improvements in the number of consumers choosing legal will be driven by creating much broader access across Ontario.”
Online sales through the OCS “predictably sagged” during the quarter, said Haig, “as (public-health) restrictions eased and the total number of stores grew, creating more opportunities for consumers to shop easily in stores in their community.”
In its last quarterly report, the OCS said its online prices were beating black-market prices with an average price of CA$7.05 per gram.
The new report says OCS’ online prices continued dropping during the quarter, to an average of CA$6.41.
The average price for a gram of cannabis at private-sector retail stores also dropped on a quarterly basis to CA$9.45, higher than the CA$8.17 illicit market price cited by OCS.
Solomon Israel can be reached at [email protected]