Massachusetts recreational cannabis sales hit the $1B mark, despite COVID restrictions

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

As the two-year mark fast approaches since cannabis retailers in Massachusetts began serving customers, it’s safe to say that a celebration is just around the corner. Why? Because licensed dispensaries and retailers have successfully managed to pull in more than $1 billion in sales revenue.

The Cannabis Control Commission has recently confirmed that data featured in Metrc the name of the seed-to-sale tracking system used to gather information pertaining to cannabis sales in Massachusetts has demonstrated a revenue turning point.

Based on the data, the state’s 80 adult-use cannabis stores surpassed the $2 billion mark by the end of the business day on October 30.

“This sales milestone represents licensees’ ability to successfully support a safe, accessible and effective adult-use industry, and I am pleased the resulting tax benefits will have a significant impact on communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said the Chair of the CCC, Steven J. Hoffman.

Cannabis sales in Massachusetts reached $444.9 million last year

The cannabis industry in Massachusetts has been journeying on a progressive incline since its inception. By analyzing data from the beginning of legal sales January 1, 2020 we can understand that gross sales have since topped $539 million.

Revenue earned through cannabis sales in Massachusetts could climb much higher over the next year or so, what with 82 cannabis stores expected to open their doors in the near future. Store owners are said to have recently received a notice from the CCC that they can proceed with their launch phase.

In addition to the 82 stores that will soon be serving cannabis consumers in Massachusetts, 201 more stores that have already obtained a provisional or final license will begin accepting transactions imminently; compliance and inspection procedures are currently being undertaken by the CCC.

COVID-19 store closures haven’t dented cannabis sales in Massachusetts 

The prospect of facing two months of store closures at the beginning of the year may have been daunting for cannabis retailers in Massachusetts. However, the state managed to sustain sales revenue with alternative means of serving customers, such as home delivery options.

Nonetheless, things could soon plummet south, after Gov. Charlie Baker issued an executive order on November 6 imposing another coronavirus-related business curfew on all adult-use cannabis sales. Based on his instructions which were confirmed in a report stores must stop serving customers at 9:30 p.m.

Medical cannabis retailers in Massachusetts will be granted the opportunity to continue serving certified patients. The rules constitute a new stay-at-home order that will also impact various other businesses, including dine-in restaurants. Healthcare services and grocery stores will be exempt from the executive order.