Monthly sales dips did not hinder growth of Colorado’s cannabis market last year

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Cannabis sales in Colorado could break an annual milestone for 2021, despite the fact that monthly revenue fell short in comparison with revenue recorded in 2020. 

Based on last November’s sales figures that were published by the state revenue department, licensed retailers in Colorado successfully shifted $158.4 million worth of cannabis for both the medical and recreational markets.

Taking this into account, the annual total amounted to more than $2.06 billion just below the $2.19 billion that was earned through Colorado’s legal cannabis market the year prior. 

The slight slump in sales could be attributed to the fact that stimulus checks are starting to dry up. What’s more, analysts believe that the revenue slip may have been stimulated by an increase in people’s entertainment related expenses amid the state’s official reopening post-COVID lockdown.

On the plus side, cannabis sales revenue in Colorado is usually spurred on by a rise in consumer expenditure during the holiday season and therefore there’s a good chance that December’s figures, once released, will push the 2021 total into record-breaking realms.

Colorado’s cannabis sales attracted a milestone $423 million in tax revenue in 2021

Based on data that was recently released as part of the most up-to-date market report from the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), the state successfully shifted in excess of $2 billion worth of legal cannabis through November 2021. 

These revenue results indicate that Colorado’s cannabis industry has been on a winning streak for the second consecutive year in terms of breaking sales records. 

That’s without even mentioning the generous tax revenue that is generated through the state’s legal cannabis industry. To put things into perspective, Colorado’s adult-use cannabis market pulled in $387 million in taxes from licensed sales in 2020.

The impressive tax revenue that was accrued through Colorado’s cannabis market also indicates that the state managed to surpass its previous sales record of $2.1 billion. However, the DOR said that it will publish its final figures in February.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s clear to see that Colorado’s cannabis industry is on a steady incline. Since legalization occurred in 2014, state-licensed dispensaries have sold more than $12 billion worth of the plant. This works out at $2 billion worth of tax revenue.

Although last year’s cannabis sales revenue in Colorado when disclosed for the month of December may beat 2020’s revenue, this is not to say that the market has progressed without its hiccups. 

Between August and October, transactions lost momentum. Consequently, this led to the market dipping almost 12 percent in comparison with the same three-month stretch in 2020.

New cannabis law recently went into effect in Colorado

During the most recent legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly approved a handful of cannabis-focused bills, with the most notable being House Bill 1317.

Based on the legal framework of HB 1317, more harsh regulations have been imposed on all legally sold retail and medical cannabis concentrates since its official enactment on January 1.

Prior to the implementation of HB 1317, registered medical cannabis patients were able to purchase a maximum of 40 grams of pharmaceutical-grade concentrates a potent type of cannabis that is enriched with upwards of 90 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) on a daily basis. 

That amount has now been reduced to eight grams for people aged 21 and over. HB 1317 stipulates that individuals aged 18 to 20 who possess a medical cannabis card in Colorado are limited to two grams and require patient card approval from two physicians operating at unique practices.