Nearly three years after voting to legalize medical cannabis, New Hampshire’s first medical marijuana dispensary finally began serving patients.
Over the weekend, the Sanctuary Alternative Treatment Center in Plymouth, New Hampshire finally awarded dozens of patients who anxiously waited the medical cannabis dispensary’s opening. This newly opened dispensary says it already has 150 registered patients with another 800 awaiting approval.
Those patients will have plenty of options to choose from as the dispensary’s grow operation includes over 50 strains of cannabis priced at about $400 an ounce. Patients can purchase up to two ounces or 56 grams of marijuana once every 10 days.
New Hampshire’s legislation legalized medical marijuana in July of 2013, but the regulatory and licensing process for dispensaries took nearly three full years to iron itself out and come to fruition. With New Hampshire’s medical marijuana industry officially underway, the East Coast is nearly painted completely green with medical marijuana states.
With Pennsylvania recently legalizing medical marijuana, every state north of Virginia now has medical marijuana laws in place. Along with Pennsylvania and Hawaii (which recently handed out its dispensary licenses), Maryland is one of the few 24 medical marijuana states not to have a dispensary system yet in place.
That should change within the next 18 months as Maryland is currently licensing dispensaries and setting up its own regulatory system.
February was another banner financial month for Denver’s cannabis dispensaries as medical and retail sales combined to reach $92.7 million in sales. February 2016 sales increased by 35 percent from the same month last year.
Combining revenue numbers for January and February 2016, Colorado has sold $181,205,007 worth of cannabis so for this year. Using this data, Colorado is projected to sell nearly $1.1 billion (1.087) in combined recreational and medical marijuana in 2016.
Colorado appears on pace to easily eclipse last year’s sales total, which The Cannabist reports as just under $996.2 million. It’s possible that this projection may be at least be partially attributed to the fact that 2016 is a Leap Year, meaning dispensaries gain one extra day of sales over the previous year.
Still, one day does not equate to a $100 million increase in sales. It’s more likely that the industry simply continues to grow at an organic, natural pace with more consumers and more product options available for those consumers to purchase.
Of the $92.7 million in sales for February 2016, $58 million come from the recreational market while $34 million come from the medical side. Interestingly, those numbers produced $4 million in tax dollars for Colorado’s school system, the largest one-month tax figure yet.
That recreational figure represents a 3 percent gain from January sales and figures to rise in April as marijuana’s national holiday, 4/20, quickly approaches. For perspective, that increase is up a significant 48 percent from last year’s February sales.
The medical side represents a 7 percent gain month-over-month and a 17 percent increase from February 2015.
Furthermore, cannabis concentrates are arguably the biggest beneficiary of this thriving market as total sales increased 248 percent from February 2015 to February 2016. Disposable hash oil pen cartridges and shatter were the big players in that market, rising 163 percent and 62 percent, respectively.
Clearly, Coloradans and tourists alike have transferred some of their flower passion into oil fever. Two full years after Amendment 64 was enacted, effectively legalizing the recreational retail market in the Centennial State, this now established industry continues to see substantial growth.
While the cannabis industry should eventually and inevitably plateau at some point, it does not appear to be in Colorado or America’s immediate future. For now, marijuana keeps on rising.
In one Washington county, legal marijuana is the literally hottest thing since sliced bread.
Spokane, Washington, people spent more of their hard-earned cash on legal cannabis in 2015 than they did on bread, wine, or milk. The county reportedly spent a shade over $43 million according to data compiled by the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.
Those numbers translate to an average of $225.64 spent on marijuana per household in 2015. Conversely, beer barely beat out cannabis with $232.70 per household.
Thereafter, it was all Kush as wine sales averaged $154.85 per household, milk sales averaged $155.37 and bread sales averaged $109.71. Those figures come courtesy of the Census Bureau.
The big takeaway here is that as America becomes healthier and eschews liquor, fast food, and sugar for a healthier lifestyle, marijuana has cemented itself as part of that healthy lifestyle. And that’s only going up.