Colorado Cannabis Sales Fall in April

For the first time since recreational legalization in Colorado, a global pandemic has factored into the equation for marijuana sales. Despite a strong start, Colorado has seen a steady drop in sales year over year since 2014 and has been hit noticeably in March and April of this year due to the decreased travel and tourism that normally accounts for much of Colorado cannabis sales.

Year Over Year Trends

Marijuana Business Daily published a report on May 5th that indicated a 16% drop in April 2020 compared to April 2019. It’s believed that the negative effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic have caused the decline in Colorado cannabis sales given that the numbers report a robust start to the year. January was on a steady incline with sales up 14% from the previous year, with February close behind at a 13% rise.

Once restrictions were put in place to flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus, the industry slowed down considerably as many non-essential businesses closed their doors to wait out the virus. March saw a decrease of 6% in sales compared to the same month in 2019, and as further lockdown measures were taken, April clocked in at a massive 16% drop in Colorado cannabis sales.

However, despite low numbers in Colorado, Washington state still saw increased sales, setting a state record in April 2020 with over $106 million in point of sale transactions. This provides an indication that cannabis for recreational use may just be recession proof. Contrary to Colorado’s tourist-driven market, Washington boasts a more mature population of local customers who continue to purchase recreational cannabis during the pandemic, but their numbers are strong nonetheless.

Colorado has seen a significant drop in tourism as travel bans and restrictions on business operation has kept most people at home under quarantine. This means that the many towns and resorts in the state that depend on tourism have taken a hit and cannabis sales are no exception. It’s safe to say that while Covid-19 has affected many businesses negatively and changed the way they serve their customers, the real problem for Colorado cannabis sales is the lack of tourism – a large byproduct of the virus.

Month Over Month Trends

While April’s 4/20 holiday typically marks the calendar’s most lucrative day for total Colorado cannabis sales, the numbers showed a 7.8% drop compared to March, according to an article from Westword. The holiday was expected to top the $161 million in marijuana sales that March had seen, but the total sales in April topped out at just $148.5 million.

Of that total, monthly medical marijuana sales – normally under the $30 million mark – increased 10.8% in April to more than $36.48 million, a record not achieved in more than two years. This shows that despite the current global pandemic, medical cannabis sales are strong and resilient enough to not only maintain but even flourish during times of economic downturn.

Recreational cannabis, however, showed obvious signs of the impact that Covid-19 has had on the market and dropped more than 12.5% to $112 million in April compared to March. The lack of tourists pouring in from other areas and numerous businesses forced to close their doors has had a heavy impact on the sales commonly achieved during the 4/20 holiday month.

Strong Numbers, Stronger Results

Overall, medical cannabis sales have prevailed and displayed strength while the rest of the market has suffered. This indicates a strong faith in the benefits of medical marijuana to help with various ailments such as chronic pain or fatigue. To find out the best solutions for your health, set an online appointment with us for your medical marijuana evaluation.