Recreational and medical marijuana sales numbers released in June by the Colorado Department of Revenue showed the lowest marijuana sales in the month of April since 2018. Numbers showed $131 million in marijuana sales for April 2023, the most recent data, down from more than $153 million in sales in April of 2022. Marijuana sales in the month of April haven’t been this low since 2018.
The industry saw a 14.1% decrease for marijuana sales from April 2022 overall, including a 12.6% year over year decrease in recreational sales and a 23.4% decrease in medical sales. For the entire year, Cannabis sales were down nearly $100 million in 2022, compared with 2021, and 2023 sales are on track to be down even further than 2022.
This decline also impacts state tax collection. Colorado collected 18.2% less in cannabis tax revenue in May 2023 versus May 2022, putting at risk critical public state and local programs that marijuana businesses help fund including housing, mental health, public safety, and education.
“Colorado cannabis small business owners count on the weeks leading up to the 4/20 holiday to be some of the strongest sales of the year,” said Truman Bradley, Executive Director of the Marijana Industry Group (MIG). “As an industry, we are struggling–we are in dire need of a regulatory overhaul to prevent more cannabis small business owners from closing their doors and laying off their workers. We earnestly hope that Colorado’s policymakers will start taking a new approach to marijuana policy, one that will protect small business owners and the public programs funded by cannabis.”
According to the Vangst 2023 Jobs Report, Colorado lost 10,481 cannabis jobs last year.