Colorado dispensaries sold more marijuana in the first 10 months of 2020 than they did during a record-setting sales year in 2019.
October sales totaled more than $199.7 million in October, pushing the state’s annual revenue to more than $1.8 billion, according to the Department of Revenue. By comparison, sales totaled about $1.75 billion in 2019, making this the highest selling year since recreational weed hit the market in 2014.
Sales were poised to crush the record following several lucrative summer months, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Colorado hit an all-time monthly high in July with $226 million in sales. That was also the first time monthly totals surpassed $200 million.
Consumers purchased about $170 million worth of recreational cannabis and about $38.8 million worth of medical marijuana in October. That’s down 3.2% compared to September, but up nearly 33% compared to October 2019.
The state collected roughly $35.4 million in taxes and fees during the month.
Robbie Wroblewski, director of community outreach at Denver’s Seed and Smith, said his dispensary saw sales cool off in the fall as the election loomed closer and consumers reevaluated their budgets in light of the uncertainty about stimulus. Typically, the company’s customer base is about 80% tourists, he said, but this year it’s been about 80% locals.
“We saw an influx of first-time customers visiting our dispensary and seeking out more information on cannabis. Consumers were very open about finding new ways to relax and cope with the pandemic in addition to looking for alternatives to alcohol,” Wroblewski said. “We’re also seeing customers demanding quality flower at affordable prices, so they can maintain their high and their wallet.”
In related news, cannabis delivery is gaining traction in the state. On Monday, the Aurora City Council gave preliminary approval to a marijuana delivery program. The ordinance will need a second vote in two weeks, and if it passes, deliveries of marijuana in that city could begin in early 2021.
Also this week, Denver unveiled its plans for a delivery program and marijuana “bars,” which could come around as soon as next summer if approved by the City Council.