It’s become a predictable pattern in the era of legal recreational pot in Colorado. Every year, the state sets a record for marijuana sales then, 12 months later — poof — it goes up in smoke and another record is set.
It should come as no surprise then that after seeing a record $1.55 billion in sales in 2018, Colorado is on a record-setting pace in 2019.
Through the first three months of the year, combined recreational and medical cannabis sales have totaled a little less than $387 million, more than $21 million ahead of the end of March 2018, with the busy summer sales months ahead. March itself set a record for sales in a single month at more than $142 million. It beat out the previous mark of more than $141 million set in August.
“I honestly just think it’s just more people finding out about it consistently,” said Colin Patrick, general manager of the Eurflora dispensary on the 16th Street Mall. “I think that the word is just spreading. More people tuned onto it every year through education.”
A deeper look at sales data provided by the state shows another trend emerging, however. To put it in a single word, Kristi Kelly, executive director of industry lobby the Marijuana Industry Group, calls it “stabilization.”
After seeing combined recreational and medical sales rise 46 percent in 2015 over 2014 (the first year of legal rec sales), growth moderated some in 2016, rising 31 percent over the prior year’s total. The same occurred in 2017, with total sales growing just over 15 percent. Finally, in 2018 total sales grew just 2.5 percent over 2017.
“As a new industry, there is obviously going