It’s been one record month after another for recreational marijuana dispensaries in Colorado so far in 2020. According to data collected by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, retail cannabis shops collected nearly $160 million from consumers during the month of June – a new record high for the state. If these trends continue as many expect, the future looks bright for cannabis operators doing business in Colorado.
All-Time High for Colorado Recreational Marijuana Sales in June 2020
In June 2020, consumers of recreational marijuana in Colorado legally purchased $158,102,628 from adult-use cannabis dispensaries. This figure represents a new all-time record for cannabis sales in the state. In fact, this is the first time since Colorado legalized cannabis for recreational use that retail cannabis sales have exceeded $150 million in a single month. The previous high for recreational cannabis sales was $149,186,615, a number that was reached in May 2020. Moreover, sales of marijuana products in June 2020 saw a massive year-over-year increase from June 2019, when recreational marijuana sales totaled approximately $122.4 million.
How Has COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Colorado Cannabis Sales?
Most retail businesses operating in Colorado have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have had the reverse effect on marijuana businesses in Colorado: legal cannabis sales are setting industry records with each passing month. This is likely a result of dispensaries being allowed to remain open as “essential businesses” while many other types of retail stores were forced to temporarily shut down.
The surge in spending on cannabis in Colorado can also be attributed to the coronavirus in another way: as people found themselves forced to stay indoors for weeks and even months, many sought out relief in the form of recreational marijuana. This continued a trend among Colorado marijuana consumers, with the percentage of Colorado adults who reported consuming cannabis nearly doubling since 2017. Additional reasons for the steady rise in cannabis sales in Colorado likely include expanded availability as more dispensaries open in new local markets, a wider variety of cannabis products being made available to consumers, and years of campaigning by pro-legalization groups finally paying off as more people begin to accept cannabis use the same way they accept alcohol consumption.
Medical Marijuana Sales in Colorado Remain Strong
It wasn’t all good news for Colorado marijuana sales: medical marijuana sales declined slightly in June, according to Marijuana Enforcement Division data. Medical dispensaries reported selling just under $41 million in medical cannabis products, which represented a slight decline from the $43 million sold the previous month. Despite this minor dip in the medical marijuana market, however, combined sales of recreational cannabis and medical cannabis still set a new record for total volume in one month with nearly $200 million.
Current projections indicate that overall cannabis sales in Colorado this year should also set a new annual record. Colorado dispensaries generated roughly $1.75 billion in cannabis sales in 2019, with just over $800 million in sales during the first six months of 2019. So far in 2020, Colorado dispensaries have sold nearly $980 million in cannabis products. Cannabis industry observers expect that total sales of marijuana in Colorado this year could approach $2 billion.
Additional Tax Revenues from Cannabis Sales in Colorado
One of the positive consequences of increased cannabis sales in Colorado is that the state has been generating additional tax revenues. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the state collected more than $33 million in taxes and fees on sales of recreational and medical cannabis in June 2020. Additionally, the projected data indicates that Colorado generated more than $36 million in cannabis sales tax revenues in July 2020. Over the first half of 2020, Colorado has collected $203 million in cannabis taxes. (To put that number in perspective, consider that the state collected approximately $300 million in cannabis revenues during the entirety of 2019.)
Contact Scythian for Information on Cannabis Real Estate
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