Now that most of New England has legalized cannabis in some form or another, it’s worth looking at which states are the largest markets. While the smaller states with the least population are expected to be the ones with the lowest total sales, the largest state – New York – is lagging.
In just five years, Massachusetts has become the leader in the region, having reached the billion mark in just two years. New Jersey is in second place but quickly growing, and Connecticut is also making up for lost time as this nascent market is putting up impressive sales figures.
Green Market Report reviewed each state’s reported sales for 2023 and made an educated guess as to how the year will end. If anything, these estimates are likely conservative as we just multiplied what had already been reported with no growth factored in.
Massachusetts legalized adult-use cannabis in November 2018, and since then the state has collected $3.9 billion in total gross sales. It first reached the $1 billion mark in October 2020, then $2 billion in July 2021, and $3 billion in May 2022.
As of July 9, Massachusetts was reporting year-to-date sales of $791 million. By July 7, Massachusetts has sold $4.7 billion of cannabis since going public in 2018.
GMR Forecast for 2023: $1.6 billion
Adult-use cannabis retail only launched in the Garden State in April 2022, but demand was immediately brisk, with recreational sales for the first three months totaling just under $80 million. Adult-use sales have continued to grow while medical sales have begun to decline.
New Jersey reported 2023 sales for the first quarter of $179 million. This combines both medical and adult-use cannabis. Total sales since the second quarter of 2022 were $679 million.
GMR Forecast for 2023: $720 million
Since adult-use sales began six months ago in January, Connecticut cannabis purchases have collectively totaled about $122 million. Green Market Report wrote that Connecticut cannabis shops hit more than a quarter million dollars in sales on their first day of real operations, when seven marijuana stores opened to the general public.
By May, Connecticut adult-use sales surpassed medical sales with $11.5 million for adult use and $11.2 million in medical sales. In June, adult-use sales climbed to $12.5 million while medical sales leveled out at $11.3 million.
GMR Forecast for 2023: $285 million
In 2020, regulated recreational marijuana retailers in Maine sold $1.4 million worth of cannabis in the first month of adult-use legalization. In 2021 yearly sales rose to $81 million and by 2022 to $158 million.
So far in 2023, Maine is reporting $97 million as of June 2023, which signals an even better year than 2022 even if sales remain flat.
GMR Forecast for 2023: $194 million
Vermont legalized recreational sales in October 2022 with just four shops and is now up to roughly 25 stores. The state reported $2.6 million in sales for the first month of legal adult-use cannabis. In the first three months of the legal adult-use market – October, November, and December – Vermont retail sales surpassed $6.1 million.
By the end of May 2023, cannabis had delivered $5.5 million in tax revenue – more than the liquor and wine tax of $4.7 million. One unique aspect of the state’s program: License holders are limited to one store in the state.
GMR Forecast for 2023: $55 million
New York kicked off its adult-use sales program with a focus on social justice applicants, which resulted in a much smaller rollout for the size of the state than had been expected. The Office of Cannabis Management noted in its May meeting that sales had reached $16 million for 2023.
The OCM said it would give its latest sales figures this Wednesday. New York may be the most populated ,but most of the cannabis sales seem to be happening in the unlicensed market.
GMR Forecast for 2023: $40 million
Only medical cannabis is legal in the state of New Hampshire despite being completely surrounded by fully legal states. Adult-use cannabis is decriminalized, but not available for sale.
The state does not report sales but did report that at the end of 2022, there were 13,364 qualified patients in the state-run program. The state also does not charge a sales tax on medical marijuana.
There is no estimated forecast for the state.