Colorado Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtApril 13, 2022


As more states begin selling adult-use cannabis, some states are seeing sales decline or at least plateau. In the case of a mature market like Colorado, sales have actually dropped. Colorado was the OG of adult-use sales, creating an onslaught of canna-tourism. Now, many people can go to states closer to where they live. Illinois and Michigan can service the midwest, while Massachusetts got a head start on the Northeast. Oklahoma has grabbed the central market and likely lots of Texans. 

Colorado Sales Fall

Earlier this week, the Colorado Department of Revenue’s (CDOR) figures released data showing that cannabis sales of $145 million in February dropped 3% from January’s sales of $151 million. It’s also a big drop of 13% from sales in 2021. For the first two months of 2022, cannabis sales had hit $296 million, while in 2021 the first two months delivered sales of $354 million. The pattern of February sales being lower than January seems to be consistent with previous years. Colorado hasn’t cracked $200 million in sales for a month since July 2021. 

That also means tax revenues from cannabis are slipping as well. Taxes and fees dropped to $27 million in February from $28 million in January. To be sure, these are all still respectable numbers, but it does demonstrate that the cannabis market has limits.


Michigan released its cannabis sales figures for March and while the state breaks them into two categories – adult-use and medical, sales have slipped here as well. Adult-use sales in March did rise to $121 million but fell 6% from February. Medical cannabis sales dropped 33% from last year but did increase 23% over February. However, before anyone fears the market is having some sort of green-out phase, overall sales in 2021 were $1.79 billion, and 2022 looks to be on track to beat that. More municipalities are coming on board and more popular products hitting the state. 




While the California market has its fair share of problems, which the Green Market Report covered in a recent series, it remains a huge market. However, even the biggest markets can experience declines. Looking at 2021 figures, the second quarter was the best clocking in with $1.42 billion in sales, but that steadily declined to $1.29 billion in the third quarter and then $1.25 billion in the fourth quarter. This just barely topped the fourth quarter of 2020 that reporting $1.24 billion in sales. The state has not released any sales data for 2022 yet.

Dave HodesMarch 30, 2022


It’s once again a flash from the past—just like with cannabis in 1975, Colorado is leading the country in deciding to decriminalize another psychoactive federally illegal drug. This time, it’s psilocybin. 

Denver became the first city to decriminalize psilocybin in May, 2019, when the city and county of Denver voters enacted Ordinance 301 to make adult personal possession and use of psilocybin the lowest law enforcement priority, and prohibit the city and county from spending resources on enforcing any related penalties. 

Decriminalize Nature Colorado, an educational campaign funded by donations to inform individuals about the value of entheogenic plants and fungi with the intention of proposing a resolution to decriminalize “our relationship to nature,” submitted a proposed ballot initiative to the Secretary of State’s Office on January 28 that sought to decriminalize the possession, use and facilitation of entheogens in the state—a term which is generally regarded as safer “regulator-speak” for psilocybin.

Decriminalize Nature has a track record for this cause—Decriminalize Nature D.C. helped get the psilocybin decriminalization initiative, Initiative 81, passed in D.C. in March, 2021

Another Colorado initiative came from New Approach PAC, backed by major contributors the Van Ameringen Foundation, a private grant-making foundation based in New York, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, a hemp products maker channeling over $3 million into the PAC. They submitted their own initiative that includes decriminalization measures as well as a legal pathway for psilocybin therapy in Colorado.

In fact, the PAC initially filed two proposed initiatives in December, has since altered both, and tried to court the very activists who are now pushing their own proposal, according to an article in Westword

At one point, it looked like voters would be facing two versions for how to best move forward with psychedelics reform in Colorado: one proposal with carve-outs for state regulation, and one that has none. But it looks as though lawmakers have narrowed down what they want to do. Final initiative language details are being worked out.

New Approach PAC also supported the approved Washington, D.C. initiative 81; plus Oregon’s approved initiative; plus a slew of marijuana legalization laws including California Proposition 64 in 2016.

Colorado officials have given tentative approval to the ballot language of four psychedelics reform measures submitted—Initiatives 49, 50, 58, 59, all titled the Natural Medicine Health Act—but it was always the plan to pursue only one version. The provisions vary slightly in each version of the initiative. Now they’ve requested permission from the state to start signature gathering for Initiative 58.

The initiative states that, if voters approve it in November, 2022, the state will adopt rules by January 1, 2024 to establish qualifications for the education and training of facilitators; adopt rules by September 30, 2024 needed to implement the access program and take applications for facilities; and that, after reviews by the Natural Medicine Advisory Board, other psychedelics than psilocybin may be added by June 1, 2026 (to include ibogaine, mescaline, dimethyltryptamine).

So is this growing decriminalizing movement in cities and states in the U.S. worth it?

Assistant Professor of Law, University of Massachusetts School of Law, Dustin Marlan, discussed several justifications for the decriminalization of psychedelics—medical value, religious freedom, cognitive liberty, and identity politics. 

He then attempted a reframing of the cognitive liberty and identity politics-related justifications under tenets of the neurodiversity paradigm. “It is unclear whether such a brain equality argument would hold clout in a court of law, but to the extent that it gains a following in the popular consciousness, we are more likely to see additional successful ballot initiatives for psychedelic law reform,” Marlan wrote. “This turn of events could shape the end of the unjust prohibition on altered states of consciousness.”

StaffDecember 15, 2020


While some companies like Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) are laying off employees by the hundreds, Slang Worldwide (OTC: SLGWF) is doing the opposite. This quietly growing cannabis brand company is adding jobs and the state of Colorado couldn’t be happier because the company decided to move its headquarters there.

“Colorado continues to be the epicenter of the growing cannabis industry, so we’re excited by the company’s smart decision to relocate and create jobs in our beautiful state,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Colorado’s cannabis industry offers strong growth potential and this move speaks volumes about our state’s cannabis industry and community as a whole.” The state competed against California and Oregon for the jobs. Slang already has 75 people on the payroll in their existing offices in Denver, which serves as their U.S. home base, and Boulder which will now be expanded. The move will create 43 new jobs with an average annual wage of $75,000 and are expected to include positions like lab technicians, project management, and other production-related positions.

“We applaud Governor Polis and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade for once again being leaders in cannabis policy,” said Chris Driessen, President, and CEO of Slang Worldwide. “Colorado was already a core market for us, so with these incentives from the state it only made sense for us to double down on our commitment to the place that so many of us, including myself, call home.”

The Economic Development Commission voted at its September 17, 2020 meeting to approve up to $584,399 in job-growth incentive tax credits over the next eight years. This is the first time Colorado has offered performance-based incentives to a cannabis company.

“Slang Worldwide’s selection of Colorado marks the next step of responsible growth within Colorado’s cannabis industry, a priority area for our office and this administration,” said Betsy Markey, executive director of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “We are encouraged by the growth potential of this vertical. Slang provides additional linkages between Colorado suppliers and broader consumer markets while growing our production and R&D profile.”

Canopy Growth Tax Incentives

For the past year and a half, Canopy has been laying off employees by the hundreds and scaling back much of its business. The company received a property tax credit from the state of New York in 2019 for its industrial hemp processing plant located in upstate Kirkwood. The company was given a standard 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement that will trim the property tax bill by more than $1.7 million over the life of the agreement. Under the terms of the proposed deal, Canadian-based Canopy is set to get a 39% reduction in property taxes over the first five years of the 15-year term of the agreement. Canopy said it would hire 75 workers at the facility with salaries between $30,000-$50,000. While Canopy exited its Springfield NY location, as of November, Kirkwood is still under construction. According to WNBF, the project is actually nearing completion.



Debra BorchardtJuly 13, 2020


According to the state Department of Revenue data, Colorado’s cannabis dispensaries sold almost $192.2 million worth of marijuana products in May. the state reported $42.9 million in medical marijuana sales and $149.1 million adult-use cannabis sales.

Sales shot up 23% over April, which is typically the biggest month for sales due to the 420 holiday. That’s an 11% increase over the all-time high of $173.2 million, set in August of 2019. Denver County alone accounted for $43.9 million in sales.

The slump for medical cannabis seemed to be over as the category staged a comeback in May setting a monthly record. Sales for medical marijuana had been bumping along at $26.6 million in February prior to COVID-19. Then the lockdowns began and the quarantine’s started causing lots of nervous anxiety for the population pushing sales to almost $43 million in May.

Marijuana sales for 2020 from January to May have already reached $779 million. At this rate, the state is sure to top last year’s sales of $1.7 billion.

Tax Data

So far the state has collected $167 million in tax revenue in 2020 from January to June. If the tax collection remains consistent, the state could end up collecting roughly $334 million in taxes for 2020. This would also top 2019’s tax collection of $302 million.

Colorado depends heavily on the tourist trade for the state’s income. Many of the ski resorts had ended their seasons early when the virus began. Now the crucial summer season is underway. The state has encouraged in-state travel this summer as a way to help boost its hospitality industry. The state is running ad campaigns saying that there would be no quarantine efforts against travelers.

While indoor bars are still closed, many cooped up tourists are ready to have some active outdoor fun. The state offers so much in the ways of outdoor sporting activities that can be done with social distancing that many are opting to head to Colorado for fun and to escape depressive pandemic locations. Plus, a trip to the dispensary can ease that anxiety and make for a much better vacation.

Debra BorchardtOctober 28, 2019


General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQX: CANN)  entered into a non-binding term sheet to acquire substantially all of the assets of a licensed recreational cannabis retailer in Boulder, Colorado. This comes two months after the company said it was buying a Denver-based dispensary.  In August, General Cannabis made its move saying it was taking these actions based on the signing of Colorado House Bill 1090, a recently approved law allowing public companies to own Colorado-licensed cannabis companies.

The company’s statement said that it will pay half of the deal in cash and half in common stock.  Once the regulations surrounding the implementation of the law are finalized, the Company plans to enter into binding transactions for the licensed cannabis entities, including the business.

“We are pleased to announce our plans to acquire a fourth licensed Colorado cannabis operator,” said Michael Feinsod, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Cannabis.  “This planned acquisition would expand our retail business to Boulder. The Business we plan to acquire would provide another strong piece to our expansion strategy.  This facility would pair us with a premier retailer and expand our customer base, allowing us to leverage our skill set as HB-1090 is implemented.  We look forward to completing the transaction and integrating this facility, and its employee team, into the General Cannabis family.  This acquisition would bring our anticipated cultivation space to approximately 45,000 square feet, our anticipated owned dispensaries to three, and one infused products manufacturer license within the state of Colorado.

“We have been working hard looking for suitable acquisition candidates.  We approach the possibilities created under HB-1090 with a methodical and detailed plan for expansion into Colorado licensed assets,” said Hunter Garth, Vice President for Corporate Development.  “This potential acquisition is another carefully selected asset to add to our distribution portfolio.  We plan to continue to acquire additional licensed cannabis assets within Colorado and other regulated markets.  Our strong corporate platform can create a synergistic opportunity for Colorado operators looking to grow with us.”

Garth continued “We have built a strong corporate culture in Colorado that focuses on profitable growth while supporting the growth of our employees.  We continue to actively seek acquisition candidates in Colorado and other states with regulated marijuana systems.  General Cannabis’ ‘Succeed Here’ platform has proved to be an excellent way for entrepreneurs to grow their cannabis-related business in a multi-faceted challenging environment.”

Anne-Marie FischerJune 17, 2019


“It’s crazy to think how much money states are flushing down the toilet by keeping marijuana in an illegal market,” said Mason Tvert, VP of Communications at Vicente Sederberg, LLP upon the release of a report that detailed how the over $1.2 billion raised in cannabis tax revenue has helped the state thrive.

According to the report released this week from Vicente Sederberg, LLP, since regulating cannabis for adult use in 2014, the Colorado government has collected more than $1 billion in cannabis-related taxes and fees, which have gone into local and state improvement programs.

This report coincides with and includes data from the Colorado Department of Revenue’s release of cannabis sales and revenue figures for April 2019. The Vicente Sederberg report, which offers specific figures and analyses on Colorado cannabis tax revenues can be downloaded here:

Since legalizing, Colorado has 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses and 41,076 licensed individuals working in the industry, according to the Department of Revenue. $6.56 billion worth of marijuana products have been sold in the state of Colorado since 2014.

Taxes collected by the state help fund a range of youth and public health programs, which include mental health services, addiction services, affordable housing, youth literacy initiatives, and anti-bullying programs at the K-12 level.

As the Vicente Sederberg report states, more than $283 million in marijuana-specific tax revenue that has been raised for K-12 schools, most which has been spent on school construction. The first $40 million raised each year was allocated through Amendment 64, which directed the Legislature to enact an excise tax on wholesale transfers of marijuana for adult use. The excise tax revenue was allocated to the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program, funding the abovementioned school construction projects.

“We were never under the illusion that legalization would be a fiscal panacea, but we knew it would have a substantial and positive impact,” said Vicente Sederberg LLP founding partner Brian Vicente, “Funds are being used on everything from building schools to hiring school health professionals and paying for bullying prevention programs.”

Following the Department of Revenue report, Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis said: “Today’s report continues to show that Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We can and we must do better in the face of increased national competition. We want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing economic sector.”

StaffApril 30, 2019


As an industry, it is well documented and understood that the edibles market and extraction sector are the future. Today, TR Concentrates, the producer behind The Root of It All cannabis-infused essential remedies designed for everyday conditions in Colorado, announced that their product line will be available in 13 Native Roots locations across Colorado.

Native Roots is one of the largest Colorado state operators and among Colorado’s top cannabis dispensaries providing a variety of high quality medical and recreational marijuana, extracts and infused products. Native Roots will be stocking all five products available under The Root of It All lineup.

“Colorado has been a trailblazer in the cannabis industry since 2014, equating to almost 30% of the nations’ total cannabis revenue,” said Kurt Junggren, Vice President of Sales and Brand Acquisition at TR Concentrates. “Colorado chains like Native Roots have been imperative to that success by providing consistent and quality products to consumers statewide. This partnership enforces those standards, and ensures that Coloradans will have further access to the best ingredients cannabis has to offer.”

Known for its innovative botanic remedies and precise formulas, The Root of It All provides best-in-class cannabis-infused essential oils and topicals that are targeted towards everyday conditions such as low energy, restlessness, sleeplessness, stress, and discomfort and lingering pain from sore muscles and joints.

“The Native Roots brand has set high expectations amongst consumers, both medical and recreational, across Colorado,” said Chris Znerold, CMO of Native Roots. “Our brand standards have elevated us as the leading dispensary in the front range and high country. Partnering with brands like The Root of It All work to ensure we’re carrying the most exceptional products on the western slope. Consumers can expect to see more products from The Root of it All in select Native Roots locations throughout the year.”

All of the products under The Root of It All are free from alcohol, glycerin, and/or propylene glycol, promoting a more holistic culture and the community around cannabis. This partnership paves the way for further retail expansion as North America continues to legalize cannabis.


StaffFebruary 21, 2019


Acquisition of Real Estate, Facilities and Infrastructure for Two Active Grows and Five Colorado Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 21, 2019 /AxisWire/  Covalent   Collective, Inc., a burgeoning network of vertically integrated cannabis-centric enterprises, announces today the completion of its first acquisition, internally referred to as the “Colorado 16”, which includes ownership of the real estate that leases multiple medical marijuana cultivations, production and five Colorado medical cannabis dispensaries.  The operators of Colorado 16 are among the most experienced in the cannabis industry and bring to bear more than ten years of experience in the production, extraction and distribution of cannabis products. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of Colorado 16 will form the foundation of Covalent’s vertically integrated operating platform. Our long-term strategy is to enhance and strengthen our platform and significantly expand it throughout the US, which includes plans to develop over one-million square feet of cultivation capacity. We look forward to continuing to share our progress on our various business initiatives with investors in the months ahead,” commented Mr. Bill Gregorak, CEO of Covalent Collective.

Colorado 16’s proprietary cultivation processes have resulted in consistently high-quality production and amongst the industry’s lowest cost of production.  A next generation production facility is currently scheduled to be completed in 2019 and is expected to measurably improve yield and quality consistency.  Hydroponics Depot, the largest supplier of canna agricultural supplies in Arizona, which is included in the Colorado 16 acquisition, will further help reduce the overall cost of production while capitalizing on the growth of both commercial and home cultivation operations in the AZ market.

About Covalent Collective:


Covalent Collective, Inc. is a British Columbia, Canada company founded in 2014 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO. The Company is building a diverse network of vertically integrated cannabis-centric enterprises that span the entirety of the legal cannabis and hemp industries. With a vision to build the largest grow capacity in the U.S., Covalent Collective’s mission is to create stronger bonds throughout the greater cannabis community through the execution of a strategic acquisition and joint venture strategy that is strategically positioned to support eventual federal legalization in the United States. For more information, please visit  


Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and “forward- looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities laws, or collectively, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release may be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “likely”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “believe, “intend”, “plan”, “forecast”, “project”, “estimate”, “outlook” and other similar expressions, including statements with respect to the Company’s rebranding and acquisition strategies. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and are based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management in light of management’s experience and perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances, including assumptions in respect of current and future market conditions, the current and future regulatory environment and future approvals and permits. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, any forward-looking statements in this press release, and readers should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements since they are not guarantees of future results. The Company does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update any forward-looking statements that are included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.


Media Contacts:

Nick Opich / Cynthia Salarizadeh

KCSA Strategic Communications

212-896-1206 / (856) 425-6160 /


Investor Contact:

David Hanover

KCSA Strategic Communications



Richard Kaiser

Covalent Collective, Inc.



William SumnerDecember 12, 2018


Earlier this week, the cannabis technology platform LeafLink released its 2018 Wholesale Cannabis Pricing Guide and the company learned that Alaska and Maryland are the two most expensive states to buy legal cannabis, followed by Nevada and California.

Examining the wholesale landscape of some of the most mature cannabis markets in the United States, the guide looks at the average wholesale price of cannabis in eight states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The product types covered by the report include concentrates, cartridges, edibles, flower, and pre-rolls.

Although the report does not dive into the specifics of why one state is more expensive than another, the authors speculate that the Alaska and Maryland’s high prices are due to the states having a low number of cannabis cultivators. In the two states where cannabis is cheapest, Washington and Oregon, there is currently a glut of cannabis cultivators; leading to low prices and oversupply.

“As the standard wholesale marketplace for the industry’s leading brands, we are able to provide crucial market information to cannabis retailers and brands, which will help inform their plans for 2019,” said LeafLink Co-Founder and CEO Ryan G. Smith in a statement. “As more states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Michigan continue to establish wholesale operations, we will be able to provide a larger scope of market activity to further empower the LeafLink community, as well as the industry at large.”

Nationwide, the average price for a pound of cannabis flower is $2,124 per pound, while a gram of pre-rolls costs around $5.66 per gram. The average price for cannabis concentrates costs approximately $26.07 per gram and cartridges are priced at around $39.55 per gram. Edible cannabis products, on average, cost around $0.20 per milligram.

When taken on a state-by-state level, cannabis prices start to vary. With regards to cannabis consumer preferences, the report found that consumers prefer products in the lowest 25% price range. The exception to this was pre-rolls. On average, consumers preferred pre-roll products in the 25%-49.99% price range.

The report also examined the relationship between pricing and discounted sales. On average, approximately 16% of the products sold through LeafLink’s platform have a discounted price. Across all eight states examined, discounted products generated 3% more sales than regularly priced products.

The discount effect is magnified when combined with larger sales campaigns. During the last year, LeafLink ran two sales promotions, one in the month leading up to 4/20 (dubbed 3/20) and one in July called 7/10; which is a considered an industry-wide “holiday” for concentrates.

When combined with those larger sales campaigns, discounted products generated 37% more sales on 3/20 and 38% more sales on 7/10. This seems to suggest that cannabis retailers stand to significantly boost their sales numbers by combining sales promotions with discounted cannabis products.

William SumnerNovember 20, 2018


Is the cost of legalized cannabis too high? According to one study commissioned by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, the answer is yes. Hoping to understand the impact of cannabis legalization fully, the study examined publicly available data in the state of Colorado, highlighting nine areas of interest. Those areas include health, productivity, traffic, crime, housing, environmental impact, cannabis tourism, homelessness, and pets.

According to the study, for $1.00 generated by Colorado’s cannabis industry, state residents spent approximately $4.50 to mitigate the costs of legalization. The most significant contributors to costs were related to the healthcare system and high-school dropout rates.

The study also highlights the dramatic rise in cannabis-related calls to the state Poison Control center, the correlation between cannabis use and those without a college degree, and the yearly estimated costs for cannabis users ($2,200 for heavy users, $1,250 for moderate users, and $650 for light users).

“Studies such as this show that the only people making money off the commercialization of marijuana are those in the industry who profit at the expense of public health and safety,” said Kevin Sabet, an ardent cannabis critic and president of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), in a statement.

While the study presents a damning portrait of cannabis legalization in Colorado, the study also relies on flawed estimates and simple correlations to arrive at many of its conclusions.

For example, when addressing the issue of cannabis addiction, researchers are keen on pointing out that the costs of treatment for cannabis addiction are approximately $31.4 million. However, what is not mentioned, although it is clearly presented in the study’s chart, is that the number of individuals admitted for treatment is the lowest it has been in 10 years.

Researchers also note that fewer cannabis users have a college degree (19%) when compared to non-users (27%). However, according to the study itself, on average recreational cannabis users have a slightly above average income ($60,000).

Furthermore, when calculating the potential cost of cannabis use among students, researchers take a specious approach. To come to their conclusion, researchers multiply the number of students who dropped out of high school and multiply it by the number of high school students who use marijuana and the cost of not earning a high school diploma. The study assumes that students who use cannabis will drop out of high school, ignoring all other mitigating factors or the fact that Colorado’s high school graduation rates are at an eight year high.

In the absence of long-term data, studies like the one commissioned by the Centennial Institute will remain inherently flawed; highlighting the need for extensive, peer-reviewed studies into the actual effects of legalizing adult-use cannabis in the United States.

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