Massachusetts marijuana sales hit a staggering $3 billion on May 14, a number that includes all sales since dispensaries first opened in the state in 2018. The state also recorded its first calendar year in 2021 during which sales exceeded $1 billion.
The news on Massachusetts marijuana sales came just months after the state reported it now takes in more tax dollars through cannabis than it does alcohol.
The latest sales figures came in a news release from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. The commission reported that sales included data from 216 dispensaries and 11 delivery companies operating in Massachusetts. Cannabis sales started in Massachusetts in November 2018 with two adult use retail stores on the state’s east coast.
The last billion in sales happened relatively quickly. Only eight months ago, the commission reported that Massachusetts marijuana sales had exceeded $2 billion since 2018. Since then, 54 new retailers have opened, as well as five more delivery businesses.
“These sales figures illustrate the steady growth Massachusetts residents expected when they voted to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2016, and the Commission was appointed in 2017,” Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins said in the news release.
Almost $6 Million in Massachusetts Marijuana Sales on 4/20
On April 20 – the 4/20 holiday celebrated by cannabis consumers – dispensaries and delivery companies reported a total of $5.9 million in sales. That’s higher than sales reported on 4/20 in 2021 ($4,224,883) and 2019 ($1,427,376). There are no sales figures from 2020 due to closure of many businesses because of the pandemic.
The commission also reported another record-breaking event. Sales in 2021 reached $1.3 billion, marking the first time that sales in Massachusetts exceeded $1 billion in a single calendar year.
Experts project sales to continue surging as delivery companies begin to generate income across the state. In Massachusetts, delivery business licenses are only available to applicants who are certified Economic Empowerment Applicants and Social Equity Program Participants. That exclusive three-year arrangement started on April 1 when the first delivery business commenced operations.
A Cannabis Boom in Other States
Massachusetts is far from alone in experiencing a cannabis boom. Since the pandemic began loosening its hold on the country, sales have skyrocketed in many states. Michigan and Arizona recently reported record highs in marijuana sales, while Illinois reported its second highest month of sales ever in April at $132 million. Sales also have rebounded in Colorado.
Even medical marijuana states are reporting high sales, none more than Florida. Since Sunshine State voters made medical cannabis legal in 2019, more than 700,000 have signed up for the state’s medical marijuana program. The Insurance Journal reports that hundreds of doctors have signed up to dispense cannabis. About 420 dispensary locations are now open in the state.
Experts project that with legal medical marijuana alone, sales in Florida could reach $1.5 billion in 2022.