Colorado Cannabis Sales Up Nearly 20% in 2020

A woman rolls a cannabis joint

Sales of cannabis soared to new highs in Colorado during the month of June as retailers sold a record $198 million worth marijuana products, according to the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Adult-use cannabis sales grew about 6% month-over-month in June, to $158 million, besting a previous record of $149 million set in May, according to state records.

Meanwhile, medical marijuana dispensaries sold $40.7 million worth of cannabis June as year-to-date sales in that sector climbed past $207 million.

Consumers have spent more than $771 million on recreational cannabis through the first six months of 2020, and year-to-date sales of both medical and adult-use products undoubtedly eclipsed the $1 billion mark in July. Those sales figures are not yet publicly available, however.

On the year, total cannabis sales are up 19.5% versus 2019, and adult-use sales are up 18%. If that pace of growth continues, total Colorado cannabis industry sales could sneak past $2 billion, smashing last year’s record $1.75 billion mark.

According to Colorado-based cannabis research firm BDSA, much of the growth is being driven by increasing per capita spending.

In a blog post published earlier this month, the firm noted that per capita spending on cannabis in Colorado has grown from $64 dollars in 2013 – when only medical sales were permitted – to $290 per capita in 2019.

“A significant driver of this growth was long-time cannabis buyers embracing legal channels, although new consumers have also contributed to the increase in per capita sales,” BDSA wrote.

Indeed, BDSA’s consumer insights data shows that reported cannabis use in Colorado grew from 24% during the third quarter of 2017 to 42% during the third quarter of 2019.

More recent surges could be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic as an growing number of Americans are spending more time at home and potentially using cannabis products to reduce stress and anxiety.

Regardless, the overarching drivers of increased cannabis sales – at least according to BDSA – are a proliferation of new cannabis products in forms that appeal to a diversifying set of consumers (candies, baked goods, beverages and other ingestibles), greater availability and broader marijuana acceptance.

“As awareness of these products increases and consumer access improves, new consumers will continue to enter the legal market, fueling continued per capita sales growth across the U.S.,” the firm wrote.

According to Colorado state records, nearly $8.8 billion worth of cannabis has been sold since January 2014. Those sales have added more than $1.4 billion to the state coffers.

Colorado has collected more than $203 million in tax revenue year-to-date through July, according to Department of Revenue data, which is available one month ahead of sales figures. In June, the state collected $33.6 million in taxes, compared to $29 million in May.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Revenue collected $36 million in cannabis taxes in July, indicating that even more impressive sales figures are still to come.

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