Retail sales of cannabis are at an all-time high in many states where marijuana has been legalized for adult use, and Colorado cannabis cultivators responded to the increased demand for recreational marijuana by growing a record amount of cannabis in 2020. As flower, concentrates, edibles, and other recreational marijuana products continue to sell extremely well at dispensaries in 2021, the expectation is that cannabis cultivators will need to produce even more product for Colorado’s adult-use market.
To learn more about the effect of recreational marijuana retail sales on Colorado cannabis cultivators, keep reading this blog.
Colorado Cannabis Market Thriving with Increased Sales of Flower, Concentrates, and Edibles
Data recently released by the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that major cannabis operators approved for cultivation in Colorado grew approximately 1.8 million pounds of cannabis in 2020. This represented a sizable 24% increase over the total amount of cannabis grown in 2019. Moreover, those 1.8 million pounds of cannabis came from roughly 3.7 million plants.
According to the Department of Revenue report, more than two-thirds of all cannabis produced in Colorado last year was eventually sold on the adult-use marijuana market. Data indicates that 72% of retail sales were for recreational marijuana, while the remaining 28% of sales were for medical marijuana. The vast majority of cannabis concentrates (85%), edibles (89%), and infused products (87%) were sold on the adult-use market. These sales figures align with the recent trend in cannabis licenses in Colorado: the number of adult-use licenses issued to dispensaries rose by nearly 2% last year, while the number of medical marijuana licenses declined slightly.
Colorado Cannabis Cultivators Growing Marijuana for Retail Market at Record Pace
The increase in cannabis cultivation in Colorado was a direct result of the surge in demand for legal marijuana, particularly adult-use marijuana. The total revenue generated by all cannabis sales in Colorado during 2020 was $2.19 billion, which was substantially higher than the $1.79 billion in cannabis revenues generated during 2019. So far in 2021, the numbers are even higher: over the first six (6) months, total marijuana sales eclipsed $1.35 billion.
Additionally, the increased demand for cannabis on the retail market has led to a shorter seed-to-sale time: it took just 126 days for cannabis to go from a cultivation site to a dispensary last year. This was six fewer days than it took, on average, in 2017.
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