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The Colorado cannabis industry has finally grown up, according to a new report commissioned by the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.
The MED contracted the Marijuana Industry Group and the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business to produce a report on the state of the green market in 2019, analyzing data on marijuana sales, supply, consumers, prices, and other industry factors to measure how far the legal cannabis industry has been around since 2014 when recreational sales began.
And according to the report, Colorado’s cannabis industry has come a long way.
“This year’s update shows that the regulated marijuana market continues to meet residents and visitor demands, concentrates continue to gain market share in the legal marijuana market, Colorado remains a competitive place for marijuana businesses, and price stabilization points to market maturity,” said the MED statement on the results.
But what does a mature market mean besides more hash and increased competition? We reviewed MED’s 2019 market report and released five highlights:
Weed is getting cheaper
Marijuana prices and supply are still seasonal and commodified, but at least those price spikes are lower than they used to be. According to the MED report, the average price per gram of marijuana flower hit rock bottom around $ 4 last year – that includes the cost of grams per ounce, half an ounce, quarter ounce, etc. – and eventually hovered around an average of 4.53 US dollars in late 2019. That’s a decrease of nearly 59 percent from 2014 when leisure sales began. Concentrate prices also fell significantly during this period, falling nearly 63 percent from $ 45.61 to $ 17.06.
The price of marijuana edibles also fell 35 percent between 2017 and 2019.
“The regulated market is now approaching maturity. Several observations suggest that the market has passed its initial and rapid growth periods and is approaching maturity,” the report said. “This includes current price trends, supply patterns and consolidation.”
Seasonal supply patterns generated by outdoor marijuana production, which are dependent on one harvest per year, are “high” in Colorado, the report explains, but the lower cost of outdoor marijuana translates into lower overall prices across the country Pharmacy.
… and stronger
According to MED, pharmacy buyers are getting more for their money as THC levels in both flowers and concentrates have been increasing since 2014. The average gram of buds tested was 18.8 percent THC in 2019, up from 16.4 percent in 2014, while the average THC content in one gram of concentrate rose from 56.6 percent to 69.4 percent over the same period.
Tourism is a huge part of the sales, but Coloradans really love their pot
Among the many discoveries in 2020 was that Colorado’s marijuana industry could stay afloat despite declining tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And the industry not only stayed afloat, but thrived, setting multiple monthly sales records as pharmacies sold over $ 1 billion from March to August, according to MED.
While the MED market report attributes over 20 percent of state cannabis use in 2019 to tourists, the data also shows that more adults in Colorado consumed the plant last year, with about 18.5 percent of residents age 21 and older using marijuana last month stated a national average of 9.6 percent. Colorado also had more regular marijuana users than the national average last year, the report said, with an estimated 4.4 percent of adults here consuming 26 days or more per month, compared with 2.9 percent across the country.
Recreational marijuana sales per capita in 2019.
Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division
Do you want to get away from weeds? Relocated to southeast Colorado
If you want to avoid weed (or avoid places where there is no weed) consider the above image, a state map of recreational marijuana sales per capita by county. While several of the gray counties have pharmacies, such low sales indicate that pharmacies are rarely available in southeast Colorado.
This has been a common complaint from readers over the years. And medical marijuana sales are even lower in eastern Colorado, according to the report – an important difference for medical marijuana patients who cannot grow their own crops.
The medical marijuana business is slowly disappearing, but it remains a lucrative market
The slow, inevitable decline of the medical marijuana industry in a recovery state is reflected in the monthly MED reports, which show stagnant medical sales since 2014 and a decline in new medical marijuana licensees across the state since 2014, however, since there was one enjoys a much lower tax rate than Freizeittopf’s, and the report shows that medical patients are spending enough money to make it worthwhile for the industry to just keep medical counters alive. In 2019, medical patients spent an average of $ 97.92 per purchase, while recreational customers spent $ 51.89. Little more than 10 percent of recreational purchases exceeded $ 100, compared with 23 percent of medical purchases.
Medical distribution has seen a minor resurgence since the beginning of 2020. They only dwarfed $ 30 million twice in 2019, but this year they have topped that number every month since March, with medical marijuana sales reaching $ 43.3 million in July, the highest of this one Category since the start of leisure sales in 2014.
However, the report sees no continuation of growth. “The Colorado medical market has reached its terminal stage where sales are likely to stagnate and decline,” it said. “Prices in the adult market are falling closer to prices in the medical market, and while key differences in edible products and purchase quantities remain, it is now clear that the adult market is growing the medical market cannibalized. “
Here is the full 2019 MED Market Report:
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Thomas Mitchell has been a cannabis-related writer for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate, and general news for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman, and Fox Sports. He is currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.