Colorado’s cannabis industry appears to be inching closer to an anticipated sales plateau.
Marijuana sales in April were practically flat from the same month last year, and the year-over-year sales growth rate continues to slim down to the low-single-digits, newly released state data show.
The state’s marijuana shops sold $124.31 million in medical and recreational cannabis during April, a total only three-hundredths of a percentage point higher than the $124.27 million recorded in April 2017, according to sales figures released Monday by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Through April, Colorado’s cannabis retailers sold close to $490 million of marijuana flower, edibles and concentrate, an increase of nearly 4.5 percentage points from the first four months of last year.
The slowing of growth is expected. Colorado’s marijuana industry has matured significantly from its days as a fledgling business sector in massive expansion mode.
The natural maturation, a continued conversion of sales from the black market to the regulated market, and broader economic forces — including pressures from other states implementing recreational marijuana programs — should help contribute to sales leveling off or even declining in 2018, economists and analysts have said.
The monthly and year-to-date totals also show the continued decline in medical marijuana’s share of sales. Shops sold $27 million in medical marijuana during April, down 29 percent from April 2017, and $112.2 million year-to-date, down 18.9 percent from the comparable period last year.
Colorado has collected upward of $87 million from the sales recorded between January and April, according to calculations of state marijuana sales tax data released Monday.
This article was originally featured on The Denver Post.