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November marijuana sales push Colorado’s industry to $2 billion annually for the first time

Colorado marijuana sales in November pushed the industry’s annual revenue to $2 billion for the first time.

In November, dispensaries sold $175.1 million worth of products, according to figures released by the Department of Revenue on Tuesday. Recreational sales accounted for about $140.5 million, while medical sales accounted for nearly $34.7 million, the agency reported.

While the total is down about 12% compared to the month prior, it was enough to help Colorado hit yet another financial milestone in an already banner year for cannabis. From January through November 2020, consumers purchased slightly more than $2 billion, the Department of Revenue reported. The previous year, dispensaries reached $1.75 billion in annual sales, a record at the time.

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Marijuana delivery, social equity reform and other Colorado cannabis trends to watch in 2021

Colorado’s marijuana industry experienced a banner year in 2020 — not in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of it.

Dispensaries across the state were declared essential businesses and allowed to operate while bars, restaurants and gyms were forced to close. That designation helped sales exceed analysts’ expectations.

According to Roy Bingham, co-founder and executive chairman of Boulder data firm BSDA, the national market grew more than 45% to $18 billion in 2020, outpacing forecasts by about $2 billion, an increase attributable to “the COVID effect.” Cannabis consumers shopped less frequently but purchased more, including many newcomers with increased at-home time on their hands, he said.

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Marijuana: 4 things to watch for in California in 2021

Making predictions about California’s marijuana industry was a challenge even before a global pandemic changed everything.

It’s not just that the legal cannabis market, which launched three years ago in California, is so new. It’s also the singularity of an industry in which licensed, legal operators still compete against a much larger illicit market, even as the industry’s core consumer product — which is medicine for some people — remains illegal at the federal level.

Some of the trends that were expected to shake up California’s marijuana industry at the start of 2020 were overshadowed or fully sidelined by the coronavirus. Still, California’s marijuana businesses fared better than some other sectors thanks to their “essential” designation, which allowed retailers and others in the supply chain to stay open and generate revenue during lockdowns.

Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

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California cannabis businesses weathered 2020 better than many industries, but challenges persist

No one would say Year Three was the charm for California’s legal cannabis businesses, as many in the industry spent 2020 struggling with a global pandemic, high tax rates and illegal competitors that the state just can’t stamp out.

But marijuana businesses are faring better this year than some other sectors thanks to their “essential” designation, which allows retailers and others in the supply chain to stay open during lockdowns. Some also believe the “essential” label is providing an image boost for an industry that’s long been stigmatized.

“I think it shows a real cultural shift in how cannabis is being viewed,” said Josh Drayton, spokesman for the Sacramento-based California Cannabis Industry Association trade group.

Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

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2020 is already the highest-selling year for weed in Colorado

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.

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