Business

Marijuana Sales on Pace for Three-Year Low in 2022

Colorado marijuana sales are in the midst of a dry spell.
Colorado marijuana sales are in the midst of a dry spell. Jacqueline Collins
Colorado's marijuana sales are projected to reach $1.8 billion in 2022, the lowest total for a calendar year since 2019.

According to the state Department of Revenue, dispensary sales accounted for just under $146.4 million in June. That's about 22 percent lower than for the same month in 2021, and almost 27 percent less than for June 2020.

Dispensary sales have fallen for thirteen months in a row on a year-over-year basis, but the June 2022 stats reflect a particularly poor performance by stores. Of the six months of reported sales figures so far in 2022, June was the second-lowest, barely beating out February — traditionally the worst month for dispensaries — by $1.1 million.

Recreational pot sales hit just over $127.1 million in June, DOR data shows. Meanwhile, medical marijuana accounted for about $19.2 million, the lowest monthly total since the DOR began tracking monthly sales numbers in 2014.

Sales totals usually pick up at dispensaries in the summer, but plummeting wholesale prices and less consumer spending have set Colorado's marijuana industry back this year. The average wholesale price per pound of marijuana flower dropped nearly 59 percent from January 2021 through the end of June 2022, according to the DOR; growers and dispensary owners say the decrease has been even more significant than those numbers suggest.

The declining sales have led to multiple dispensary closures and takeovers across the state. In June, Denver dispensary chain Buddy Boy closed all seven stores because of unpaid taxes. Less than two months later, TweedLeaf shut down its seven stores across the state for the same reason. A handful of single dispensary operations have closed their doors, as well. 
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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