Following a pandemic “high,” Colorado cannabis sales have been plummeting for months.
Sales skyrocketed for the cannabis industry in the beginning of 2022, a trend that began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, cannabis industry officials are seeing the other side of the pandemic “bump,” according to Ricardo Baca, founder and CEO at Grasslands, a marketing and PR agency that focuses on cannabis and psychedelics.
Baca noted that, during the early months of the pandemic — when authorities imposed quarantines and people shifted to working remotely — people used cannabis recreationally more often.
Experts and industry insiders pointed to several factors contributing to the decline in cannabis sales, including a shift in consumer behavior, more states legally permitting its use and less disposable income as a result of inflationary pressures.
In 2022, the state of Colorado collected $325 million in cannabis tax revenue, a nearly $100 million decline from 2021, which produced $423 million in taxes. In 2020, that number was $387 million.
Actual sales are down even more than that, according to The Marijuana Industry Group executive director Truman Bradley. MIG is the oldest and largest trade association for the regulated cannabis business in Colorado.
“Any time sales drop as low as they’ve dropped, you see businesses closing, you see Colorado workers being laid off,” Bradley said. “And that ripples out not just to the plant-touching companies but to the…
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