Colorado cannabis sales surpassed $1.5 billion last year, worst year since 2017

Colorado cannabis sales in 2023 surpassed the $1.5 billion mark, the state Department of Revenue announced last week, down significantly from $1.7 billion in 2022 and a tumble of almost $700 million since 2021.

In December, Colorado’s marijuana shops sold a combined $115.8 million worth of cannabis goods, bringing the year-long sales total to $1.52 billion.

The numbers also bring Colorado to an all-time sales figure of $15.5 billion since the recreational marijuana market launched a decade ago in January 2014.

Last year was the lowest cannabis sales year for Colorado since 2017, when retailers sold a little over $1.5 billion in cannabis. Even 2018 was slightly above the 2023 totals, and in 2019 totals ramped up to $1.7 billion, before breaking the $2.1 billion mark in 2020 and then $2.2 billion in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the end of the pandemic, however, the nation’s oldest adult-use marijuana market has seen a steady decline in sales, and a number of companies and brands have either exited the state or closed down altogether.

In recent years, more nearby states have launched their own recreational cannabis markets, including New Mexico, which sold a total of $555.8 million in cannabis goods in 2023 after its adult-use sales began in April.

Several other states have also already reported 2023 marijuana sales totals, including:

Colorado, which had been a leader in the legal adult-use markets now lags behind the newcomer states of Illinois and Michigan, and Massachusetts.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.


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