Colorado marijuana dispensaries have set a new sales record for the sixth consecutive year, according to the state Department of Revenue.
Commercial pot sales accounted for just over $141 million in November, state data shows. That was good enough to put 2019's overall sales total past $1.6 billion, breaking 2018's record of approximately $1.55 billion...and there's still one month of sales figures to add to the total.
Marijuana sales in Colorado have increased each year since adult-use dispensaries opened for business in 2014, although the rate of growth had been slowing. However, 2019's total will buck that trend, since it's already almost 5 percent higher than last year's sales figure. In 2018, marijuana sales only jumped about 2.5 percent from 2017.
Even with modest projections for December 2019's sales (in 2018, they totaled $135 million), the annual growth over 2018 could rise to 10 percent.
But that surge in marijuana earnings could level out again in 2020, as new dispensary opportunities become more scarce around Colorado and the industry waits on recreational marijuana delivery becoming legal in 2021. According to a new report from the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting, taxable revenue from dispensary marijuana sales is expected to reach around 10.4 percent growth for the fiscal year of 2019-'20 (July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020), but drop to 1.4 percent for 2020-'21.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.