DENVER (KDVR) — Recreational and medical marijuana sale numbers showed a continued steep decline, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.
The marijuana sales report showed that February had $124 million in marijuana sales, down from more than $145 million in sales in February of 2022. That’s a 14.2% decrease in marijuana sales from February 2022 overall, including a 12.7% year-over-year decrease in recreational sales and a 23.7% decrease in medical sales.
This decline also impacts state tax collection. Colorado collected 19% less in cannabis tax revenue in March 2023 versus March of the previous year.
Industry experts said fewer tax dollars have far-reaching impacts.
“Our industry supports thousands of jobs and public programs that Coloradans care about like affordable housing, public safety, mental health and addiction treatment, education and more,” said Tiffany Goldman, board chair of the Marijuana Industry Group (MIG). “Unfortunately, cannabis small business owners will not be able to withstand continued increases in taxes and regulations, dated and draconian federal regulations, and a growing unchecked and unregulated intoxicating hemp industry for much longer. We are already seeing business owners close their doors and leave Colorado, taking critical jobs and tax revenue with them.”
According to the Vangst 2023 Jobs Report, Colorado lost 10,481 cannabis jobs last year.
The report also broke out the data by county with marijuana sales largely following population.
Marijuana sales by county
2022 – Month 12 Data
- Denver $29,653,761
- Arapahoe $14,867,640
- Adams $11,070,340
- Boulder $8,839,500
- Larimer $8,711,626
MIG representatives believe the tough regulations are sending dispensaries and business owners out of state, meanwhile, they said the hemp industry needs to be regulated like dispensaries.