Ask a Stoner: How Are Dispensaries Closing in Denver?

Dear Stoner: How are dispensaries closing in Denver? Give me one of those licenses. Weed sells itself.

Dear Ed: Opening a dispensary and achieving success isn’t impossible, but it’s not as easy as it seems. With just over 200 different dispensaries and most of the state’s growing operations, Denver has always been one of the country’s most competitive markets, but now it’s oversaturated. Medical marijuana sales in 2022 are down more than 43 percent from last year, according to the state Department of Revenue, while overall pot sales are down over 20 percent. Wholesale flower prices have plunged, too, falling more than 46 percent on average from January 2021 to April of this year.
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Mile High Green Cross, opened since2009 at 852 Broadway, closed in May of 2022.
Thomas Mitchell
Recent inflation has limited customer spending money, but cannabis has never been cheaper in Colorado, where the plant is no longer a novelty now that nearly twenty states have legalized recreational pot and even more allow medical marijuana sales. Add in licensing compliance and fees, a business tax rate upwards of 70 percent on revenue thanks to federal prohibition, and continued competition from other states and the gray market, and you’ve got one slim profit margin, Ed. Dispensaries need to sell a lot of weed to stay open, and the tourist dollars just ain’t what they used to be.

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