There’s no denying that tax dollars collected from cannabis sales in states like Colorado, Massachusetts, and California are attractive.
Legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis has brought up an abundance of questions. The question, is recreational cannabis disruptive to medical cannabis, is a good one.
If you look at statistical data, it would appear that recreational cannabis slows the growth of medical cannabis and is even reducing it.
There are several factors you’ll want to look at when going over the statistics. One of those factors is with more states having legal access to cannabis the entire country is not trying to live in one state anymore.
Rec Sales are Mile High in Colorado
This is evident in Colorado. Tax revenue for cannabis sales as of October 2018 reported a decline in medical cannabis sales while boasting a rise in recreational sales.
Colorado is expecting yearly sales of an estimated $1.5 billion dollars. They also plan a steady decline in the medical cannabis market. Patients that once were medical cannabis refugees living in Colorado are now able to return home in many instances.
Cali Medical Canna Conundrum
California reported an estimated $350 million for Q3 for recreational adult use cannabis sales. You could add another $95 million dollars to that if you add in medical cannabis sales which would pull Q3 to around $445 million for California. As you can see recreational sales outweighed medical sales considerably.
A Mass Drop and Massive Market Potential in Massachusetts
Cannabis sales in Massachusetts were off to a fiery start. In the first five days alone the two dispensaries operating exceeded $2.2 million in recreational cannabis sales. That breaks down to around $220,000 a day per dispensary.
In California, the average dispensary pulls around $300,000 in sales per month. Recreational Cannabis has been legal in Massachusetts for some time now, but they have not had legal dispensaries for people to make purchases.
In the months of September and October applications for medical cannabis cards in Massachusetts were down by 13% and 16% respectively.
It All Boils Down to Tax Dollars
These statistics also show that it’s not only medical patients that want cannabis. In the opinion of this writer all cannabis consumption is medicinal. The only difference between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis currently is the amount of tax revenue it collects. In the long run, I can see political parties wanting all cannabis to be recreational, so they can tax people more.
One thing we do know is that where there is recreational cannabis, it seems that medicinal sales in many instances is starting to decrease suggesting that yes, recreational cannabis can be disruptive to a medical cannabis program and market.