By ROBERT DAVIS
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — Colorado’s total marijuana sales topped $2.19 billion in 2020, marking a new record high, according to the latest annual market report from the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.
The state saw almost $1.75 billion in Adult Use Marijuana sales — which designates marijuana sold for recreational use — an increase of 24% compared to 2019’s total of $1.41 billion. Medical marijuana sales totaled $442.5 million last year, according to MED’s report.
The COVID pandemic increased demand for both retail and medical marijuana “as household spending shifted to food, drink, and entertainment consumed at home,” the report said.
The report compiled data from Colorado’s Inventory Tracking System, a database of self-reported inventory counts from all the state’s licensed retail and medical marijuana businesses, to give regulators a bird’s-eye view of the industry and help them “improve and build upon the market success, safety, and efficiency that (Colorado) has enjoyed as the longest-running legal marijuana market in the U.S.”
To account for the increase in sales, marijuana cultivators had one of their most productive years on record. Cultivators grew approximately 1.24 million plants in 2020, which turned into 662.3 metric tons of product entering the supply chain.
The report also suggested that consumers may be shifting their preference to medical marijuana as retail marijuana prices remain elevated compared to last year.
The average price of a gram of retail marijuana increased from $3.99 in 2019 to $4.80 last year, a 20% increase. At the same time, medical marijuana prices also grew by 26% up to $3.80 in 2020.
The report said these trends suggest that the industry found a “price floor” in 2019 because the price increases in both markets “occurred even as total retail outlets and production levels increased to all-time highs.”