Adult-use cannabis sales in Massachusetts top $2 billion

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Legal cannabis sales in Massachusetts have surpassed the $2 billion mark since the state’s recreational cannabis market kicked off in late 2018. This is according to the Cannabis Control Commission, which issued a report on the industry’s success on Wednesday, September 1.

Based on recent sales figures, gross sales accrued from the state’s currently operating cannabis retailers of which there are 165 and three cannabis delivery services totaled $2,009,007,478 as of August 31. In comparison with sales figures reported by the Commission last November, recent figures highlighted by the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system have more than doubled.

“As the Commission reflects on our four years of work, I hope the Commonwealth is proud of the agency we have built and the new industry that has been introduced and established,” Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins said in a press release. “This milestone speaks to the success of licensees that have interacted with the Commission from the application stage, maintained compliance with our strict regulations, and contribute every day to communities across the Commonwealth.”

“This number also underscores the entire agency’s tireless efforts, particularly those of our hardworking staff, to thoughtfully regulate a safe, accessible, and effective adult-use marketplace that keeps critical tenets of our mission public health, public safety, and equity, among others front of mind,” Collins added.

Although cannabis lobbyists have been informed that Massachusetts’ legal cannabis market is continuously thriving, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, supporters are ongoing in their efforts to promote industry equality and participation from prohibition-impacted individuals.

Recreational cannabis sales figures mirror trends seen in other legal markets

Analysts have paid close attention to the recent sales figures for Massachusetts’ legal cannabis market in contrast with other state-legal markets. Interestingly, the state’s ever-growing revenue mirrors what analysts are observing in numerous markets.

One such example is Arizona, which pulled in approximately $21 million in medical and adult-use cannabis tax revenue in July. Then there’s California, which accumulated $817 million in adult-use cannabis tax revenue for the 2020-2021 fiscal year demonstrating 55 percent growth from the previous fiscal year.

Moreover, a recently-conducted scientific analysis of sales revenue data in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington State determined that cannabis-related transactions “have increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the previous two years.”

Three states saw record-breaking recreational cannabis sales in July

It’s not just Massachusetts that is financially benefiting from cannabis legalization. A handful of other legal cannabis states are also seeing lucrative results, including Illinois, which managed to rake in almost $128 million in recreational cannabis transactions for the month of July. In comparison with sales figures recorded one year ago, July’s figures represent double the amount

July marked the fifth consecutive month that adult-use cannabis sales in Illinois hit the $100 million mark. Analysts say that, should the trend remain uninterrupted, Illinois’ recreational sector is likely to accrue more than $1 billion this year.

Similar trends are transpiring across other legal states. For example, Maine’s adult-use cannabis market managed to generate $9.4 million in July — 45 percent more than the previous month’s record. Additionally, Michigan celebrated another sales record in July, when it attracted more than $171 million in cannabis-related transactions. Of that amount, $128 million came from the adult-use market and $43 million from the medical sector.