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After a hot summer, Colorado’s cannabis sales cool down

Colorado’s cannabis sales have chilled from their seasonal summer highs.

After three consecutive months of $136 million in combined recreational and medical cannabis sales, Colorado’s marijuana dispensaries recorded nearly $121.6 million in sales during October, according to The Cannabist’s extrapolations of state sales tax data made public Monday.

The October totals consisted of nearly $87.7 million in recreational sales and $33.9 million in medical cannabis sales, according to The Cannabist’s calculations. The state report does not disclose sales data.

Ten months into 2017, Colorado’s cannabis retailers have tallied $1.28 billion in sales, putting the industry just shy of the full-year total of $1.31 billion for 2016, according to The Cannabist’s archive sales data. The year-to-date 2017 sales equate to roughly $208 million in taxes and fees revenue for the state.

The summer dip has not been uncommon for Colorado’s young cannabis industry. Aside from a $750,000 month-to-month increase in the formative first year of 2014, monthly sales tailed off from September to October in 2015 and again during the same period in 2016.

The October sales data also show the continuation of another trend: The slowing of annual growth rates as the industry matures.

Growth rates have narrowed since the spring of 2017, dropping from 36 percent at the end of March to 17.5 percent through October. During 2016, the annual growth rates ranged from 30 percent to 37 percent.

The latest monthly report from the state revenue department lists marijuana taxes and license fees remitted by cannabis businesses to the state office during November. The receipts largely reflect sales made in October, but there is a potential for some variance because of incomplete or late returns from prior months.

Sales stats for Colorado weed
A month-by-month look comparing sales of recreational and medical marijuana, as calculated by The Cannabist:

2017 Recreational total (10 months)
2017 Medical total (10 months)
2017 (10 months): $1,283,215,655
2016 Recreational total (12 months)
2016 Medical total (12 months)
2016 total: $1,313,156,545