Colorado dispensaries set another record in March, according to the state Department of Revenue, accounting for over $207 million in marijuana sales that month.
So far in 2021, January, February and March have each set sales records for their respective months, with the highest totals since recreational dispensaries opened in 2014. Sales for the three months combined add up to over $561.7 million — which is almost 22 percent ahead of the pace for the first quarter of 2020.
Recreational sales accounted for more than $166.7 million in March, quadrupling the $40.4 million that medical marijuana transactions brought in. Despite the disparity, medical marijuana sales also set a record, with the highest number for any March.
Although Colorado marijuana sales have been growing since January 2014, that growth was beginning to slow before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Last spring, the pundits pointed to panic-buying and government-issued stimulus checks as reasons for increased dispensary action, but while sales tend to peak in summer months, the strong numbers continued into 2021.
The DOR's data for April and May, when Colorado's COVID-19 vaccination rate rose considerably, hasn't been released yet. And while the unofficial 4/20 holiday also attracts lots of hype, that doesn't necessarily translate into equally high sales figures. According to dispensary sales analysis firm Headset, dispensaries in California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon saw an 84.5 percent increase in revenue on Tuesday, April 20, compared to the average amount sold over the previous four Tuesdays. However, Headset notes that sales on April 20, 2020, saw 100.4 percent growth in the same four-week comparison, and April 20, 2019, hit 118.6 percent.
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