Business

Colorado Marijuana Sales Drop to New Lows at Start of 2022

After a record year, Colorado marijuana sales are falling hard.
After a record year, Colorado marijuana sales are falling hard. Jacqueline Collins
Colorado marijuana sales hit a new low at the start of 2022, according to the state Department of Revenue.

Although 2021 was another year of record sales, Colorado dispensaries had already seen declining  numbers at the end of last year, and 2022 is off to a slow start. Dispensaries collected just over $151.1 million in January, DOR data shows, falling about 10 percent from the month before. And while dispensary traffic is typically slowest in January and February, the numbers for January 2022 were far lower than for January 2021.

On both the medical and recreational sides, January 2022 marijuana sales were about 20 percent off sales the previous January. That's the eighth straight month that sales decreased on a year-to-year basis, according to DOR data.

After a hot ride through the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and into 2021, Colorado dispensaries were almost $200 million ahead of 2020's pace in May 2021, but then the action slowed. The decreased pace of sales is expected to continue through 2022, according to economic forecasts from the governor’s office.

Medical marijuana sales accounted for slightly more than $21.1 million in January, the lowest monthly total since recreational sales began in Colorado in 2014. January was also the month that a set of new laws restricting medical marijuana recommendations took effect, with a handful of medical marijuana clinics and physicians pausing or ending operation.

Meanwhile, recreational sales, responsible for the vast majority of Colorado marijuana revenue, brought in slightly less than $130 million, the lowest monthly total since April 2020, according to the DOR. But wholesale prices of marijuana have also decreased appreciably, dropping 28 percent from October to December.

Cannabis business owners and state economy officials believe that pot consumption may have peaked around the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many Coloradans were still spending their time at home.
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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