Massachusetts Cannabis Sales Top $1 Billion


Over the last two years, adult-use cannabis retailers in Massachusetts have eclipsed more than $1 billion in gross sales.

Why it matters: Massachusetts is a home to more than 6.8 million residents and was the first state on the east coast to initiate recreational marijuana sales in 2018, making it an important market for ambitious multi-state operators such as Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries and Cresco Labs, among others.

The details: The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, citing data from the state’s Metrc “seed-to-sale” tracking system, last week reported that 80 dispensary operators in the Bay State had combined to sell $1,000,521,905 worth of cannabis products since November 20, 2018.

  • During the first 12 months of recreational cannabis sales (November 2018 — November 2019), 33 retailers in Massachusetts generated $393.7 million in gross sales.
  • Full-year 2019 sales totaled $444.9 million.
  • Through November 11, 2020 cannabis retailers in Massachusetts have sold $547 million in product, despite two months of forced closures in the early days of the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • There are currently 84 licensed cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts, and another 201 have received provisional or final license approvals and are completing inspections.
  • A total of 688 licensed marijuana establishments — including cultivators, product manufacturers, testing labs, and others — are operational in Massachusetts.
  • Currently, 40 cultivators with a combined 1.26 million sq. ft. of canopy are “open for business” across the Commonwealth.

Context: The $1 billion in sales that Massachusetts retailers generated through the first 24 months of operation is especially notable when you consider that adult-use dispensaries in the country’s most mature market, Colorado, only brought in $880 million during their first two years of business.

Another emerging market, Illinois, where adult-use sales began in January, has eclipsed $507 million in cannabis sales this year (through October).

Key quote: In a news release, CCC chairman Steven Hoffman said the “sales milestones represents licensees’ ability to successfully support a safe, accessible, and effective adult-use industry.”

“I am pleased the resulting tax benefits will have a significant impact on communities throughout the Commonwealth,” he said.

The bottom line: At $1 billion in sales, Massachusetts will generate upwards of $200 million in tax revenue from the sale of adult-use cannabis products. Adult use marijuana is subject to a state sales tax of 6.25% as well as an excise tax of 10.75%. Cities and towns are also able to levy an additional tax of up to 3%.

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