This week marks exactly seven years since recreational cannabis sales started in the U.S. state of Colorado. And when someone is the first in something, the rest can learn from it. The Netherlands, for example, could take a good example from how the cannabis industry is regulated in North America. The sales figures will not be the issue; in 2020 another sales record of $2.2 billion was recorded in Colorado, which has a population of less than six million.
Read more about the cannabis market in Colorado and find other important cannabis news with the Hemp.im mobile app.
Record cannabis sales recorded in Colorado
The final and verified official figures for 2020 in the legal cannabis industry in Colorado didn’t come out until late 2021. The ‘Report: Colorado’s total cannabis sales topped $2.19 billion in 2020,’ for example, headlined The Daily Sentinel last week. Those are the sales of recreational and medical cannabis combined. The good news was announced by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in Colorado.
Recreational cannabis is now overcoming medical cannabis
MED data shows that the total sales of $2.19 billion (€1.92 billion) for 2020 consist of almost $1.75 billion in recreational cannabis (called adult-use cannabis in the US) and $442.5 million in medical cannabis. So a new sales record for Colorado, again. It obviously pays off to be the first state to legalize cannabis, even if you want to make money from it.
Compared to 2019, recreational cannabis sales were up 24% year-over-year. These are growth rates that no other industry can show, with the exception of Big Pharma during the coronavirus period perhaps.
Legal cannabis growers in Colorado grew about 1.24 million plants in 2020, which equates to 662.3 metric tons or 662,300 pounds of consumer cannabis products.
After years of decline, the price of a gram of cannabis is rising
For the growers and especially the sellers in dispensaries, the price per gram of recreational cannabis is of course important. And that increased in 2020 even a little faster than total sales, something that is very welcome after years of price declines on the legal market:
A gram of legal (and therefore healthy because controlled) recreational cannabis in 2020 went for an average of $4.80 or €4.20 over the counter in 2020, 20% more than in 2019. The MED report shows that the gram price of medical cannabis also increased by 26% to $3.80 or €3.35.
Compared to the prices of illegal (uncontrolled) cannabis in the Netherlands, these are very reasonable amounts.
How Covid-19 influenced the legal cannabis market?
Of course, the ‘2020 Regulated Cannabis Market Update’ report also focuses on the coronavirus pandemic and how it influenced the cannabis industry. MED assumes that the pandemic has caused an increase in demand for both recreational and medical cannabis “as household spending shifts to food, beverage, and entertainment consumed at home.
What Colorado residents and the many tourists in the mountain state consume has also been put into a handy little chart, along with the corresponding average THC percentages, and those don’t lie either:
A wet legal cannabis plant costs $170 (€151) in Colorado
In December, the Colorado Department of Revenue also released its Average Market Rates, which will apply from January 1st, 2022. Therefore, it can be seen that the price hike in 2020 is not going to last. In five out of seven cannabis categories the price is going down.
For a pound (450 grams) of buds, people now pay $944 (€835) at the wholesale market. A kilo of legal cannabis costs $2,097 (€1,855) in Colorado for the coffee shops. Also, for one wet cannabis plant people in Colorado have to pay $170 (€151).
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