The Colorado legal marijuana industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Based on information from a report released by the Department of Revenue, local marijuana businesses sold a whopping $117.4 million worth of green products (flowers, edibles and concentrates) in April 2016.
The recreational cannabis space raked in roughly $76.6 million during the same period, which was a huge jump from December 2015 ($62.2 million) and April 2015 ($42.4 million). This surge in sales activity was predicted by several analysts, including BDS Analytics, an analytics company that focuses on the marijuana industry. The firm’s forecast revolved around one of the sector’s most celebrated holidays: 4/20.
“4/20 serves as a stimulus for the industry to start thinking about the rest of the year — making sure they have the right inventory levels but also thinking about the growth they’ll see throughout the rest of the year,” said Roy Bingham, founder of Boulder-based BDS Analytics.
Despite being held back by a crippling snowstorm before the event (April 15-18), pot enthusiasts still came out and showed their support for the industry. During the celebratory week, retail marijuana sales reached $34 million (a 44 percent increase from the previous year). On April 20, the community brought in $7.3 million- a 53 percent increase from last year. This record also smashed the “most cannabis sales in 24 hours” record that was set on September 16, 2015 ($6.1 million).
Year-to-year sales data indicate exponential growth for the sector at $388 million- a 37 percent increase from the previous year. When it comes to product performance, concentrates contributed $27 million with the highest jump in yearly growth at 133 percent. Flowers and edibles also made significant contributions to overall sales at $67 million (38 percent increase) and $13 million (83 percent increase) respectively. Surprisingly, all three products experienced a decrease in average retail prices for the cannabis recreational market during the same period. Prices for concentrates fell 20 percent, while flowers and edibles showed price maturity, dropping slightly by as much as two and four percent.
Medical Marijuana and Sales Tax
The state’s medical marijuana sales also experienced new highs during the month of April. Dispensaries that specialize in medicinal cannabis products sold around $40.8 million- a 22 percent increase from March 2016. In line with record-breaking sales, Colorado collected $5.5 million in excise taxes during the unofficial holiday month. Moreover, the state gathered $16.7 million in excise taxes from the cannabis recreational space in the first four months of 2016. The entire sector (medical and recreational) provided $57 million in tax collections during the start of the year.
“When there would be a big holiday or a big weekend, it was very invigorating for not only the whole industry but for me and my colleagues, too. When you’d have that kind of increased sales volume, it can be really exciting,” explained Tom Jones from BDS Analytics.
This post was originally published on June 13, 2016, it was updated on March 15, 2017.