In late May, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division released a comprehensive report on the state’s marijuana market in 2017. Among its more eye-popping findings: the Centennial State’s legal growers harvest weighed in at 556,008 pounds of bud and 321,982 pounds of shake/trim. In total, about 2.5 million plants were harvested, with steady increases in yield from January to September. Denver county led the state, with 590,790 total pounds (buds, shake, and wet plant) grown from 1.5 million plants.
The market is growing and maturing
The state’s total monthly plant count grew from 862,421 in January to 974,038 in December. The number of marijuana businesses in the state increased slightly, reaching about 3,000. The total number of licenses increased from roughly 31,000 to 37,000. The number of licenses issued per month ranged from about 1,200 to 1,600.
In January of 2016, 29,239 pounds of bud were sold, and the number steadily increased to 33,610 in December. The yearly total was 411,143 pounds. Edibles increased in sales as well, starting the year at 766,872 units and ending at 1,028,408.
Colorado’s marijuana business also generated a robust quality testing and investigation report. The state has eleven testing facilities. Samples passed lab analysis in the range of 90 percent. (Infused edibles and shake/trim scored a little below 90 percent, while other categories scored in the high 90 percent range.) The state also conducted thousands of investigations, including background checks, license renewals, and checks on nonqualified sales. The passage rate on nonqualified sales was 95 percent. Most administrative actions taken (236 total) were stipulations, agreements, and orders, while summary suspensions numbered only 75.
Recreational use outpacing medical
While medical use remained steady at about 12,000 pounds consumed per month, adult use climbed from approximately 16,000 to 21,000 pounds during the year. Concentrate sales went from 1,817 to 2,632 pounds, again with adult use significantly outpacing medical. Units of concentrate sold increased dramatically, from 236,159 to 493,008, with a year-end total of about 4.5 million. The market generated about $1.5 billion in sales during the year. Growth rates, which were as high as 30 to 40 percent, are slowing down, however, indicating that the market may stabilize in the near future.
What do you think: Will prices go down as the market levels out? Leave a comment below.