May shows first decline in retail marijuana sales
July 18, 2014
For the first time since the legal sale of recreational marijuana started in Colorado, retail sales posted a decline in the month of May.
Total retails sales throughout the state during the month of May totaled $21,028,690, according to a report released this week by Colorado's Department of Revenue. This reflects a drop of more than $1 million from the April total.
Summit County remained ranked fourth in state for total retail sales with $4.5 million for year-to-date. But on a per capita basis, Summit by far posted the strongest retail pot sales.
For example, Boulder County, which ranked third in retail sales, sold $15.99 per capita for its population of 303,318. Summit sold $160.46 per resident, with a permanent population of less than 30,000.
“It’s just like any business. The numbers probably dropped at places like resorts and bike rentals also during the month of May. I’m sure when the numbers come out for July you’ll see them pick up again.”
owner of Medical Marijuana of the Rockies in Frisco
Even Denver County, which boasted the largest amount of sales by far with $45 million to date this year, sold only the equivalent of $71.48 per resident, less than half of Summit's per capita sales.
The decline of sales in May can likely be attributed to a decline in tourism during that time.
"It's just like any business," said Jerry Olson, owner of Medical Marijuana of the Rockies in Frisco. "The numbers probably dropped at places like resorts and bike rentals also during the month of May. I'm sure when the numbers come out for July you'll see them pick up again."
However, medical marijuana sales have remained steady across the state. And according to the most recent data, medical sales continue to outpace recreational with $32 million sold in May, a slight increase over April.
Olson chose to keep his shop strictly medicinal. He made that decision in order to provide more focused care for his medical clients rather than split up attention between recreational and medicinal users.
"If I have someone in a wheelchair who is in the waiting room trying to get medicine for a possible life-threatening disease like cancer, I didn't want them waiting in line next to some kids just talking about how high they want to get," Olson said.
And while his decision might not allow him to capitalize on the regular influx of out-of-state tourists wanting to take a toke, it does allow him to focus on medicinal clients and keep steady business even during mud season.
Meanwhile, state and local governments continue to rake in tax revenue from both medical and retail. So far, the state has collected $23.6 million in taxes and fees from the sale of recreational and medicinal marijuana combined.
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