After predictions that Colorado’s marijuana market was plateauing, the latest numbers for 2019 showed a huge jump in sales growth. Marijuana sales at medical and recreational dispensaries set a new record at $1.75 billion in 2019, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR).
Colorado’s 2019 numbers saw a surge in cannabis sales, exceeding 2018 by more than $200 million, an increase of 13 percent. The state received more than $302.4 million in tax revenue–used to fund programs like public health and safety, drug education, law enforcement, school construction, and more.
From 2017 to 2018, cannabis sales increased by 2.5 percent. In 2018, the state saw $1.55 billion in cannabis sales, compared to $1.5 billion in 2017.
“To see it turn around in 2019 is a bullish indicator that price compression can’t keep the popularity of legal cannabis down,” said Tom Adams, the managing director at BDS Analytics. Adams told CNN that he attributed the increase in sales to the popularity in non-flower products like edibles, vapes, and concentrates. He said that recent BDS studies showed that the number of adults who reported consuming cannabis in the last six months was increasing, and more people were comfortable buying cannabis products.
“It’s just become a part of people’s lives more and more,” Adams said.
Truman Bradley, the newly appointed executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, told The Denver Post that he attributed the increase in sales to the normalization of cannabis.
“People are moving from the unregulated market to the regulated market,” Bradley said. “As reefer madness goes away, as the stigmatism of cannabis reduces and people come over to the regulated market, I would expect that trend to continue.”
According to the DOR, Colorado dispensaries have sold nearly $7.79 billion in cannabis since recreational sales began in 2014, generating $1.21 billion in state tax revenue.
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