Legal weed sales in Colorado exceeded a stupefying $127 million in the latest figures from May — marking twelve consecutive months smashing that impressive number — with total cannabis sales for that year at least $1.4 billion.
Yet — excepting a patchwork of over half the United States deeming the plant legal or non-criminal to various degrees and for various reasons — cannabis remains federally prohibited.
“I think that $100 million a month (in sales) are the new norm,” Bethany Gomez, director of research for the cannabis-focused Brightfield Group, told The Cannabist of the consistent figures.
Colorado, as in, the state government, benefits mightily from eager legal potheads — the state’s Department of Revenue raked in $96 million in tax from $620 million in sales through the first five months of the year, a startling 27 percent increase over the same period, in 2016.
Tax revenue for 2017 has already exceeded $223 million.
Plenty of room for disputation exists in the theory the State has no place as arbiter of vice or as grifter of earned income; however, considering the repeal of federal income taxation codes isn’t likely on the horizon during any of our lifetimes, Coloradans can at least now partake of nature’s remedy how and why they choose — without concern for being shot by a State agent — and for a relatively minor fee.
But I digress.
An upward trend in sales, including the March high (pun intended) of $131.7 million, probably won’t continue much longer, says Gomez, and as the Colorado cannabis market approaches maturity, the figures ought to plateau — though not exigently decline.
“What you’re seeing in Colorado is similar to other industries, we’re starting to see lower double-digit growth rates, rather than the triple-digit growth rates,” she explained. “That time of massive growth expansion in Colorado, I think, is over.”
Recreational sales comprised just 40 percent of the nation’s nascent market in 2014 — but has since exploded to fully 70 percent.
As for the wider, medical market, the Cannabist reports,
“The state’s monthly medical marijuana sales have remained fairly flat — inching up from an average $32.2 million in 2014, to $34 million in 2015, to $36.5 million in 2016, and $36.7 million for 2017 thus far. The state’s patient population, however, has declined.
“As of May 31, 2017, a total of 86,964 patients had an active medical marijuana registration, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. A year before, that figure was 106,066.”
Legal weed — for medicine or merriment — has rightfully earned a permanent home in Colorado. Some turn from the black market, others experiment with the plant as substitute for an evening drink, to alleviate opioid addiction, and — now that cannabis won’t lead to time behind bars — just to get high, legally, because decades of stricter federal prohibition simply wouldn’t allow it.
And because cannabis cultivators, marketers, and businesses aren’t forced to operate behind closed doors and shuttered windows, new product innovations hit the stores constantly — a factor in rising, but steadying, sales figures.
“Consumption patterns haven’t really settled in the recreational market yet,” Gomez continued, “people are still experimenting. There is still a lot of room for change there.”
One development, in particular, has been seen customer preference: 85 percent of January sales in flower declined to just a 64 percent share of the market by December last year, as edibles and other infused items took off in popularity — for both the medical and recreational sectors.
Considering Colorado’s uber-success in sales of recreational cannabis, it’s a wonder voters in every other state — whether or not they support use for its own sake — don’t implore their legislatures to follow suit.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
We encourage you to share and republish our reports, analyses, breaking news and videos (Click for details).
Contributed by Claire Bernish of The Daily Sheeple.