THE Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) released its monthly cannabis sales report for August, the latest month available, which shows that adult-use and medical cannabis sales have exceeded $15 billion since legal sales began of cannabis in 2014.
These sales peaked during the pandemic and have been on the decline ever since.
Data shows Colorado adult-use and medical cannabis sales totaled $15,028,995,376. Since 2016, the state has sold $1 billion to $2 billion worth of cannabis each year. But due to oversupply issues ultimately leading to lower prices, Colorado sales are expected to be lower in 2023 than in previous years.
Sales are still up from when the market launched in 2014, but have fallen precipitously since peaking during the pandemic.
Colorado’s cannabis market sold nearly $2.2 billion in 2020 and more than $2.2 billion in 2021 as many residents were forced to quarantine at home.
Unless cannabis sales resume in the third quarter of 2023, full-year cannabis sales could be lower than in 2022, a year in which Colorado cannabis businesses sold for $1,000,000. $7 billion in cannabis, matching 2019 sales. As of the end of August, year-to-date sales were just over $1 billion.
Denver, the state’s largest market
In the largest city and capital of Colorado, as well as in the corresponding county, the decline in sales is very marked. A report released in July by the city and county of Denver showed a 22% drop in annual revenue from cannabis sales between 2021 and 2022, the largest annual drop since the launch of legalization.
“In 2021, 31% of Colorado’s total cannabis sales occurred in the City and County of Denver,” reads a 2022 report on municipal cannabis management. “From 2014 to 2021, the Denver’s proportion of cannabis sales to overall Colorado cannabis sales fell 17%, from 48% to 31%. This downward trend, which has been consistent since the implementation of retail cannabis sales in 2014, indicates that growth in cannabis sales outside of the City and County of Denver has been increasing faster than outside of Denver. interior of the city. »
A recent report from Denver Post analyzes fallout from Colorado’s post-pandemic cannabis industry. “The market is just bad. It’s bad right now,” cannabis seller Val Tonazzi told the Denver Post. “There are businesses closing left and right. »
Inflation could also be to blame, with consumers necessarily reducing the purchase of expensive products, explained Truman Bradley, of Marijuana Industry Groupto local media 9 News.
“The ripple effect on employees and customers cannot be overstated either,” he said. “If cannabis sales go down, tax revenue goes down as well. »