March was the highest month for recreational marijuana sales in Colorado to date.
Colorado’s monthly recreational marijuana sales hit a new record high in March, according to new data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue. Statewide adult-use sales in March reached nearly $106 million, beating the previous record of $102 million set in August 2017.
Despite that Colorado’s legal marijuana industry is still in its infancy, March has been revealed as the start of the state’s peak cannabis sales season. Since legal cannabis sales started in 2014, Colorado has seen recreational marijuana sales spike in early spring, mid-summer, and around holidays. Every year, recreational marijuana sales records have been set in March before being eventually surpassed in the summer months that follow.
According to an analysis from Marijuana Business Daily, Colorado’s recreational marijuana market is on track to reach approximately $1.25 billion in 2018, a 14 percent increase over adult-use sales in 2017.
Overall sales for the month of March – including recreational and medical marijuana – were just north of $135 million. After seeing the lowest overall revenue in a year in February, total sales in the first quarter recovered and surged to $365 million, up 6 percent year over year.
Colorado’s record month of sales reveal continued growth for the first state to legalize and implement an adult-use market, despite new competition from regional states, including Nevada and California, where recreational marijuana markets were launched in July 2017 and January 2018, respectively.
Colorado has generated more than $500 million in total tax revenue in adult use marijuana sales since 2014. Over half of the state’s revenue goes to school-related construction and projects. The remaining revenue goes to running the program, and to hospitals, road construction, and substance abuse programs.
Medical Marijuana Sales Hit a Slump
While recreational marijuana sales in Colorado were up in March, sales of medical marijuana have declined. March’s medical marijuana sales were just above $29 million, close to $8 million less than in March 2017 and a far drop from the $42 million in August 2016 when they were at their highest.
Attorney Brian Vicente of Vicente Sederberg LLC, who specializes in marijuana law, told 9News.com that he expects medical marijuana sales to continue to drop.
“A lot of people are choosing to not go through the sort of rigmarole of going to see a doctor and getting a card from the state and are instead just going to their local recreational marijuana store where prices have become somewhat in line with those of medical marijuana,” Vicente said.
“I do think we’re going to see probably a decline in medical sales as people shift over their consumer habits to the recreational side,” he added. “They don’t have to go and get a doctor’s card. They’re paying more in tax but prices are becoming lower and it’s not as bad on their wallet.”
Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2001. With a written approval from a physician, patients can possess up to 2 ounces of usable marijuana and personally grow up to 6 cannabis plants.
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