Business

April Marijuana Sales Set Ground for a Big Summer

Canna City, a recreational dispensary in Commerce City.
Canna City, a recreational dispensary in Commerce City. Jacqueline Collins
Colorado marijuana sales fell from March to April, according to the state Department of Revenue, but historical data shows that 2021 is set for one big year.

Despite April 20 (4/20) being one of the largest sales days or weekends of the year since marijuana was commercialized, April tends to see a dip in transaction revenue from March, staying flat or slightly dipping every year since recreational sales began in 2014.

That remained the case this year, DOR data shows, with dispensaries pulling in a little under $1 million less in April than in March. However, April 2021's tally of over $206.3 million is still 22 percent higher than 2020's mark in April, and 24 percent higher than 2019's numbers.

Marijuana sales trackers attribute the flatline to an extra day on the calendar in March, along with a dirty little secret among dispensaries: 4/20 might actually drag April's sales total down. Although April 20 attracts a lot of customers, most of those purchases are relatively large as shoppers take advantage of bulk deals on the marijuana industry's own version of Black Friday and St. Patrick's Day, leading to a drop in transactions for the rest of the month.

Over $768 million worth of marijuana products were sold in Colorado from January through April of this year, according to the DOR, responsible for more than $143 million in tax revenue. That's 32 percent higher than the same span last year, and business isn't likely to slow down, as April to May traditionally marks a seasonal rise in marijuana sales.

click to enlarge COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Colorado Department of Revenue
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell