Massachusetts Hits Nearly $400 Million In Year One Adult-Use Cannabis Sales

Each day in Massachusetts’ first year of recreational marijuana sales was a million-dollar day for dispensaries, according to a new report released by state officials.

Massachusetts dispensaries made nearly $400 million after one year of legal recreational marijuana sales, according to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).

Reports indicated first-day sales from the state’s only two open dispensaries rang in $440,000, setting the tone for an impressive first year. The total sales for the year represent more than $1 million in statewide recreational cannabis sales per day.

Despite first-day sales starting more than ten months after anticipated, Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman praised retailers and consumers in the state for the “extremely smooth roll out.”

“Hundreds of millions of dollars in sales are one measure of success, but I am even prouder of the way in which Marijuana Establishments have worked with the Commission to gain and preserve compliance with our regulations and patrons continue to inform themselves about the law and their responsibilities when they visit Massachusetts stores,” Hoffman said in a statement.

The approximately $393.7 million in first-year sales imply that nearly $67 million was generated in state tax revenue. The tax revenue number is a bit higher than the $63 million that was estimated by state officials for the first year had stores opened in July 2018.

Massachusetts made history by becoming the first East Coast state to legalize recreational cannabis. Six months into the adult-use sales, the state generated $140 million in revenue. The total number indicated the marijuana sales had increased 21 percent per month since the market launch.

On day one, only two adult-use dispensaries were open. Customers reportedly formed lines starting as early as 12:30 a.m. to wait for stores to open. One year later, the state has a total of 33 recreational marijuana retailers.

The CCC reported another 54 marijuana retailers are in the process of completing the Commission’s inspection and compliance procedures. In total, the CCC has licensed 227 marijuana establishments, including cultivators, manufacturers, and microbusinesses.

ArcView Market Research and New Frontier Data published a 2019 report forecasting Massachusetts’ marijuana industry would be worth $1.1 billion by the year 2020.

Cannabis in Massachusetts

Massachusetts voters approved Ballot initiative Question 4 in 2016 with 54 percent in favor. Under the law, cannabis is taxed and regulated similar to alcohol. Adults 21 and older can legally possess, cultivate, consume, and purchase marijuana.

Although the law took effect in Dec. 2016, recreational sales were slated to begin Jan. 1, 2018. Gov. Charlie Baker signed off on a six-month delay of the launch to allow time to work on the cannabis law. After licensing struggles, the launch officially happened in Nov. 2018.

Voters in Massachusetts approved Ballot Question 3 in November 2012, with 63 percent of the vote, to legalize medical marijuana in the state. To qualify, patients 18 and over must be approved by a physician and certified by the state to gain access to a “60 day supply” of cannabis. Those under 18 can qualify if they have what physicians consider a life-limiting or severe condition.

Cannabis Industry News

Massachusetts is one of 11 states to legalize recreational cannabis.

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