Marijuana sales are experiencing their annual fall dip in Colorado, but they're still comfortably outperforming last year, according to figures from the state Department of Revenue.
Dispensaries tallied nearly $206.5 million in sales during September, state data shows, a slight drop from August and almost 9 percent less than the monthly marijuana sales record set in July of $226.37 million. But the DOR's latest figures show that September 2020 sales were almost 25 percent higher than in September 2019, as the demand for Colorado marijuana continues to increase.
Recreational sales accounted for over $166.5 million in September, according to the DOR, while medical marijuana brought in more than $39.9 million. This was the first time since April that medical sales failed to crack the $40 million mark; however, medical marijuana sales have enjoyed a strong year overall, and are on pace for their highest year since 2016.
Including September sales, DOR data shows that Colorado pot shops have brought in well over $1.3 billion in transactions since March, when the nation began shutting down and taking precautions for the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the end of September, this year's sales are just $106 million away from the annual record set in 2019 —- and there are still three months of figures to report.
And next year could be even bigger, with eight towns expected to begin recreational or medical marijuana sales after approving such businesses in the November 3 elections (three of those towns — Broomfield, Lakewood and Littleton — are located in the Denver metro), and legal recreational marijuana delivery starting in Colorado in 2021.
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.