Marijuana Sales Broke $2 Billion for 2020 by November

Last year broke all records for annual marijuana sales in Colorado, according to the state Department of Revenue, with dispensaries passing $2 billion in sales by the end of November 2020.

Although DOR data shows marijuana sales did experience the traditional seasonal dip in November, falling more than 12 percent from the month before, dispensaries still went on to sell over $175.1 million that month. That's a new high for November since recreational sales began in 2014, and about 19.4 percent higher than November 2019's count.

With December still left to be added into the total sales figures, 2020 is already a record year for the pot industry, which has routinely smashed monthly sales records during the COVID-19 pandemic on the way to totaling slightly more than $2 billion by the end of November, according to the DOR.

Medical marijuana sales also reached a new yearly high by the end of November, breaking $405 million in sales. But it was recreational marijuana that accounted for the majority of last year's record-breaking action. According to the DOR, almost 80 percent of 2020's marijuana sales were to recreational customers.

Sales were already strong before dispensaries pushed holiday marketing with sales and events on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and "Green Wednesday" — the day before Thanksgiving that now has a new label from the marijuana industry to attract customers on a week already known for retail shopping. According to dispensary analytics company Headset, pot shops across the country saw a 40.2 percent rise in sales on Green Wednesday, compared to sales averages for the previous four weeks.

Dispensary sales traditionally keep dropping from December through February, but even slower months have been setting records lately, and the marijuana industry continued that holiday marketing push into Christmas and through New Year's. According to early reports from the DOR, 2020's total marijuana sales tally should land between $2.1 and $2.2 billion — easily surpassing 2019's final total of $1.74 billion.

If current prices are any indication, 2021 is off to a fast start, too. Wholesale marijuana prices in Colorado reached a four-year high early in January, at $1,721 per pound of flower, while flower supplies have continued to fluctuate since last summer.