Colorado Marijuana Sales Continued Decline in August

After a hot start, 2021's marijuana sales are starting to dip.
After a hot start, 2021's marijuana sales are starting to dip. Ken Hamblin
Colorado marijuana sales fell in August on both a monthly and yearly basis, according to data from the state Department of Revenue.

Recreational and medical marijuana sales combined for a total of just under $192.9 million in August, down nearly 7 percent from the $206.5 million in the same month last year and about 5 percent less than the $202.8 million in July.

Recreational marijuana sales in August accounted for about $157.9 million, almost 11 percent less than they did during the same month in 2020, DOR data shows, while medical marijuana sales fell about 17 percent from August 2020's count.

Both medical and recreational marijuana sales fell from July to August, even though marijuana sales traditionally see a slight bump in that time period, according to DOR data, and have always grown during the summer overall. But after six straight years of annual growth during the months of June, July and August, 2021's summer pot sales fell in comparison to 2020.

Marijuana sales in 2021 are still technically on track to beat last year's numbers, but the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting's most recent quarterly economic forecast predicts more slow motion ahead, pointing to declining in-home pot use this year.

Cannabis business owners believe that self-isolation, government stimulus payments and temporary unemployment benefits during 2020's COVID-19 pandemic provided an uncommon bump to marijuana sales; while sales are still healthy this year, they've anticipated that growth could slow.

Legal marijuana sales and excise taxes have accounted for approximately $290.5 million in tax revenue from the start of 2021 through August, according to the DOR, and have raised almost $1.9 billion in tax revenue since recreational sales began in 2014.
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
Contact: Thomas Mitchell