Why Is Colorado Losing Marijuana Sales Revenue?

Colorado amazingly sees more than $100 million in marijuana sales each month, however revenue has been faltering. Marijuana sales revenue has been slipping over the last few months and there is a lot of speculation as to why.

Some concerns surround the legalization of marijuana in California and Nevada. If tourists are being drawn to the two new adult-use marijuana states, then there is real possibility that the declining sales in Colorado would be a continuing  trend. Others worry that a more aggressive stance on marijuana by the justice department may be scaring enthusiasts away. Perhaps the initial excitement for legal marijuana is waning.

Medical and recreational cannabis combined for $119,567,777 in sales in November, according to DOR data, a 6.3 percent drop month-over-month from October’s revenue and almost 12 percent less than September’s take However, November’s numbers still represented a rise of almost 9.5 percent from the same month in 2016.

Recreational sales accounted for over $87.6 million in November, the lowest-earning month for retail sales since May 2017; medical sales brought in over $31.8 million. Both saw declining numbers from the month before, though medical sales have been firmly stuck in the $31 to $37 million range, while retail sales see more variance.

Dispensary analytics firm BDS Analytics says tourism plays a major role in the shift in sales numbers, with revenue usually peaking in the summer months. Seven of 2016’s highest-earning weekends for Colorado dispensaries fell in summer months, according to BDS, and only one came after September.

If tourism typically drops during the winter time in Colorado then the declining marijuana sales revenue may not be a real problem. It is likely though as tourists have more recreational marijuana choices, that Colorado sales would decline further. Would you think it wise of Colorado to expect marijuana sales to drop as tourists have more options for marijuana destinations.

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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