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2020 was the biggest year yet for marijuana sales in Colorado

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More medical and retail marijuana was sold across Colorado in 2020 than ever before after several unexpected trends emerged, according to a new report from the state’s Department of Marijuana Enforcement.

The 2020 Regulated Marijuana Market Update showed that the COVID-19 pandemic had significant impacts on the industry, while the demand for flower products increased reversing the trend of six years of continuous decline in market share.

“This is the first to show the effects of COVID-19 on the legal commercial marijuana industry in Colorado using state METRC data,” Dominic Mendiola, senior director of MED said in a press release. “Colorado experienced the largest ever marijuana sales in 2020, and it is essential to provide the public with this level of cutting-edge analysis to understand the industry’s annual trends.”

Total sales in Colorado exceeded $2 billion for the first time in state history with total sales of $2.19 billion reported in 2020. This was a 25.3% increase over 2019 and about 3% higher than year-over-year sales growth. From 2015 to 2020, according to the report.

Recreational marijuana sales were higher than ever with $1.75 billion sold across the state. Unexpectedly, medical marijuana sales rose for the first time since 2016 as total sales increased nearly 31% from 2019 to 2020.

Experts hypothesized that the increase in drug sales could be attributed to recreational users changing markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic because medical marijuana prices are generally cheaper.

Similarly, flower products – the marijuana plant – for the first time increased their market share. Although flower products held the largest proportion of total sales within the market, this share has been steadily declining every year with the increase of concentrated and edible products.

Focus saw its market share drop from 32.4% to 30.1%, while food declined by only 0.4% in 2020.

Although there was a slight decrease, there were significant changes in the short term as concentrates and edibles made up 45.1% of the state’s total sales in January, but fell to 39.8% in May, according to the report.

Experts believe this unexpected change may be a result of the increased availability of flowers over its competitor and the potential continuing effects of reported lung injuries associated with vapes reported in 2019.

But Venus is probably a more economical option – although more expensive than 2019 – than its competitors at a time when many people have lost their jobs or thought their local dispensary could close the next morning.

Although many people were without jobs and income, the average recreational consumer spent an average of $55.93 compared to $100.49 for medical marijuana consumers.

While several changes affected marijuana sales in 2020, the report notes that the overall market continued to consolidate at a moderate pace as the total number of corporate entities decreased by approximately 7%.

However, the marijuana market remains more competitive than the tobacco, beer and pharmaceutical industries in the Centennial State, according to the report.

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