Rocky Mountain Cannasol
Eagle Scout , Horchata , Pruno, Rotten Cherries , Scooby Snax , Toxic Boo
Rocky Road
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Punch , Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Papaya Cake, Sueno, The Sauce, The Sauce , Tres Leches , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Pineapple Blast, INFVSED Scooby Snax, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2, Tart Pops #3
Rocky Road Remedies
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Diesel, Funyunz, Garlic Breath, Interdimensional Cable, Marmot OG, Pancakes, Papaya Cake, Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Street Urchin, Sueno, Sunset Drive, GG #4, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Roots Rx
Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Citrus Cake , Divine Kush Breath , Eagle Scout , Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Mandarin Cookies , Milky Weigh , OG Sin , Oreoz , Passionfruit , Quatro Kush , Rotten Cherries , Scooby Snax , Sour Apple , Sour Diesel , Toxic Boo , Tres Leches , Tropsanto , Veritas Cookies , Durban Kush #8, GG #4, Item #9, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Sandia Botanicals
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Simply Pure
Apples & Bananas , Rotten Cherries , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sherb Crasher, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Solace Meds
Apples & Bananas , Electric Lemonade , Sex Grenade , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sour Orange Zkittlez, Melonade #8
Spark Dispensary
Apples & Bananas, Grape Cream Cake, Pancakes, Sunset Drive
TGS
Apple Fritter , Cherry Punch , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Horchata , El Chivo #4
The 404 Dispensary
Citrus Cake , Divine Kush Breath , Milky Weigh , Rotten Cherries , Tropsanto , Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
The 64 Store
Cherry Diesel, OG Sin
The Dispo
Apples & Bananas, Cherry Diesel, Double Deja Vu , Frankenberry , Pancakes , Papaya Cake, Passionfruit , Scooby Snax, Sour Diesel, Tangidos , The Sauce, Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, GG #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Peking Duck #6
The Happy Camper
Apples & Bananas , Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , Mandarin Cookies , Milky Weigh , OG Sin, OG Sin , Pancakes , Passionfruit , Pruno, Quatro Kush , Rotten Cherries , Sour Apple , Street Urchin, Tangidos , Toxic Boo , Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, GG #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Root Canal #2
The Joint By Cannabis
Cherry Punch , Frozen Dessert , OG Sin, Pruno, Street Urchin, Melonade #8
Third Day Apothecary
Cherry Diesel, Garlic Breath, Marmot OG, Sour Diesel, GG #4, Peking Duck #6
Top Crop
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Tumbleweed
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Double Deja Vu , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Georgia Pie , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , Scooby Snax, Sex Grenade , Sour Diesel, Sueno, The Sauce , Tres Leches , Apples & Bananas, Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, Item #9, Muffinz Breath #1, Root Canal #2, Sunset Drive
Twin Peaks
Frozen Dessert , OG Sin, Sex Grenade , Street Urchin, El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Unity Rd.
Apples & Bananas , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, Item #9
Zipz
Cherry Diesel, Garlic Breath, Sherb Crasher, Peking Duck #6
ANNA
OG Sin, Pruno, Street Urchin, Root Canal #2
Best High
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Mandarin Cookies , OG Sin, OG Sin , Oreoz , Pruno, Pruno , Quatro Kush , Sex Grenade , Melonade #8, Root Canal #2
Blue Heron
Interdimensional Cable, OG Sin, Pancakes, Pruno, Street Urchin, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
COS Confidential
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas , Double Deja Vu , Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Oreoz , Scooby Snax , Strawberry Guava , Triangle OG , El Chivo #4, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Sugar Rush #2
Canna Cabinet
Apples & Bananas , Pancakes , Toxic Boo , Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
CannaCo
Apples & Bananas, Cherry Diesel, Garlic Breath, Pancakes, Scooby Snax, Sour Diesel, The Sauce, GG #4
Cannabicare
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas , Cherry Diesel, Cherry Hills , Garlic Breath, OG Sin, Sherb Crasher, Sour Diesel, Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Sugar Rush #2
Cherry Peak
Apples & Bananas , Electric Lemonade , Frozen Dessert , OG Sin, Pancakes , Street Urchin, Toxic Boo , Tres Leches , El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Colorado Harvest Company
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas, Apples & Bananas , Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Georgia Pie , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , Marmot OG, OG Sin, OG Sin , Oreoz , Pancakes , Papaya Cake , Pruno, Pruno , Rotten Cherries , Sex Grenade , Snickerz, Sour Apple , Street Urchin, The Sauce , Toxic Boo , Tres Leches , Veritas Cookies , Apples & Bananas, El Chivo #4, INFVSED Scooby Snax, INFVSED The Sauce, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2, Sugar Rush #2, Sunset Drive, Tart Pops #3
Dark Matter
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
EMJ's
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Diesel, Scooby Snax, Snickerz, Street Urchin, Sunset Drive, The Sauce, GG #4, Peking Duck #6
Elevated
Electric Lemonade , Sex Grenade , The Sauce , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sueno
Emerald City Wellness
Cherry Diesel, INFVSED Oreoz, INFVSED Sour Orange Zkittlez, Peking Duck #6
Green Dragon
Apple Fritter , Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Oreoz , Pancakes , Pruno , Toxic Boo , Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Green World Express
Apples & Bananas, Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Tres Leches , El Chivo #4
HERBS 4 YOU
Electric Lemonade , Sex Grenade , Root Canal #2
High Class
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Igadi
Cherry Diesel, Electric Lemonade , Frozen Dessert , Garlic Breath, OG Sin , Pancakes, Rotten Cherries , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Sunset Drive, El Chivo #4, GG #4
Kind Care of Colorado
Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Apple Fritter, INFVSED Peking Duck #6, INFVSED Scooby Snax, INFVSED Sherb Crasher, INFVSED Sueno, INFVSED Sunset Drive, INFVSED The Sauce, INFVSED Yuk Mouth, Melonade #8
LA CASA CANNA BIS
Apples & Bananas, Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Tres Leches , El Chivo #4
LIGHTSHADE
Apples & Bananas , Frankenberry , The Sauce , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sueno, Item #9
Lightshade
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas, Apples & Bananas , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Pruno , The Sauce , El Chivo #4, Item #9
Livgreen
Apples & Bananas, Apples & Bananas , Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Diesel, Cherry Hills , Double Deja Vu , Frankenberry , Funyunz, Georgia Pie , Oreoz , Pancakes, Pancakes , Scooby Snax , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Sunset Drive, The Sauce, Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, GG #4, Item #9, Melonade #8
Lucky Monkey Buds
Apples & Bananas, Garlic Breath, Pancakes, Scooby Snax, Sour Diesel
Magnolia Road
Chemdawg , Divine Kush Breath , Milky Weigh , OG Sin , Tropsanto , Watermelon Sorbet , Durban Kush #8, Root Canal #2
Magnolia Road
Apples & Bananas , Chemdawg , Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Divine Kush Breath , OG Sin, OG Sin , Papaya Cake, Pruno, Scooby Snax , Street Urchin, The Sauce, Tropsanto , Watermelon Sorbet , Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, Item #9, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Makena
Apples & Bananas , Rotten Cherries , El Chivo #4, Item #9
Mellow Harvest
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Munchiez
Sueno
Native Roots
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas , Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Double Deja Vu , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , OG Sin, OG Sin , Oreoz , Pancakes , Pruno, Pruno , Rotten Cherries , Sex Grenade , Street Urchin, The Sauce , Tres Leches , Veritas Cookies , Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, INFVSED The Sauce, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Oasis Cannabis Superstore
Cherry Hills , OG Sin, Veritas Cookies , Item #9
Peak Dispensary
Electric Lemonade , OG Sin, Pruno , Sex Grenade
Peak North
Horchata , Tres Leches , INFVSED Apple Fritter, INFVSED Scooby Snax, INFVSED The Sauce, INFVSED Yuk Mouth, Item #9
Roadrunner Cannabis
Item #9, Sueno
Rocky Mountain Blaze
Big Bubba Diesel, Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Papaya Cake, Sex Grenade , Tres Leches , El Chivo #4, Peking Duck #6

February 6, 2023

Colorado marijuana sales tank in 2022 after pandemic-induced high

03xx22-dg-news-EufloraGreenhouseHarvest04.JPG (copy)

FILE PHOTO: Assistant cultivator Saul Servin writes down the weight of a “Mac” strain marijuana plant while harvesting at the Euflora cannabis greenhouse on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Denver, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Denver Gazette)

  • TIMOTHY HURST/THE DENVER GAZETTE

03xx22-dg-news-EufloraGreenhouseHarvest10.JPG (copy)

FILE PHOTO: Cannabis industry officials are seeing the other side of the pandemic “bump” in sales. Pictured: Marijuana plants hang upside-down on a rack, ready to be “de-fanned” after being cut down at the Euflora cannabis greenhouse on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Denver, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Denver Gazette)

  • TIMOTHY HURST/THE DENVER GAZETTE

Following a pandemic "high,” Colorado cannabis sales have been plummeting for months.

Sales skyrocketed for the cannabis industry in the beginning of 2022, a trend that began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, cannabis industry officials are seeing the other side of the pandemic “bump,” according to Ricardo Baca, founder and CEO at Grasslands, a marketing and PR agency that focuses on cannabis and psychedelics.

Baca noted that, during the early months of the pandemic — when authorities imposed quarantines and people shifted to working remotely —  people used cannabis recreationally more often.

Experts and industry insiders pointed to several factors contributing to the decline in cannabis sales, including a shift in consumer behavior, more states legally permitting its use and less disposable income as a result of inflationary pressures.

In 2022, the state of Colorado collected $325 million in cannabis tax revenue, a nearly $100 million decline from 2021, which produced $423 million in taxes. In 2020, that number was $387 million. 

Actual sales are down even more than that, according to The Marijuana Industry Group executive director Truman Bradley. MIG is the oldest and largest trade association for the regulated cannabis business in Colorado.

“Any time sales drop as low as they’ve dropped, you see businesses closing, you see Colorado workers being laid off,” Bradley said. “And that ripples out not just to the plant-touching companies but to the ancillary companies both direct and indirect.”

Taxes are collected in three categories: state sales tax on marijuana sold in stores (2.9%), the state retail marijuana sales tax on retail marijuana sold in stores (15%), and the state retail marijuana excise tax on wholesale sales or transfers of retail marijuana (15%), according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, which is responsible for tracking data on sales of marijuana throughout the state.

The total amount of taxes collected to date from cannabis sales have reached $2.3 billion, the department said.

Last year, over $675 million of the taxes collected from the cannabis industry went to the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund; the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund received nearly $391 million; the Public School Fund got $276.6 million; and, the rest was split between local government ($138.38 million) and the general fund ($135.99 million).

Experts anticipate that, with new markets coming online through state legalization, sales in Colorado will also go down. 

New Mexico will likely see more sales not only from customers in their state but also from surrounding states, such as Texas, that would have previously gone to Colorado for their cannabis, said Baca, the PR expert. 

“But, inevitably, this is going to level out and we’re going to see a more authentic expression of what this current market looks like in 2023,” Baca said.

Some welcomed the news.

Luke Niforatos, executive vice president of the anti-marijuana group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said the decline in sales should be "celebrated."

“Big Marijuana profited off of increased addiction and use throughout COVID-19 lockdowns and the isolation that so many Coloradans felt during those years," he told The Denver Gazette. "What we are seeing now is likely a return to the pre-pandemic average use. This decrease should be celebrated, but we need to do more to educate the public on the harms of marijuana use and hopefully we will continue to see these numbers decline.”

Cannabis-based businesses are seeing the affects of declining sales beyond the dispensaries and well into production.

When the spike occurred during the pandemic, businesses started producing more to meet the demand and, in many cases, brought on more staff.

With sales down, companies are shedding employees, some for the first time.  

For Johnathan Spadafora, president of Veritas Fine Cannabis, said his company had to let go of 34 employees since numbers were not what they expected based on projections.

“Everybody in the cannabis business, or quite a few of us in the cannabis business, had known only expansion for a long time,” Spadafora said. “For more of the time that I’ve done this job, the biggest problem that we faced was how do you create more product as fast as you can.”

The economy, overall, has been adjusting to inflation and rising interest rates, and it’s harder for consumers to make room for discretionary spending, Spadafora said.

“As one of the only products that can’t be purchased with a credit card, we felt that very severely across all of cannabis,” he said.

Alison Di Spaltro, chief executive officer of the cannabis company Escape Artists, believes several factors contributed to the decline in sales.

Other states coming online affected border stores and made it less of a tourism novelty, she said, adding that there is less foot traffic in stores, there were no stimulus checks like there was in 2021 and consumers have less cash on hand due to inflation.

“What I’m hoping is this year, we kind of get to a point where we find what is the steady state [of sales] for Colorado,” Di Spaltro said.

About 41,000 people work in plant-touching cannabis companies, according to Bradley. Add in support and ancillary companies, that number rises to about 100,000 employees in Colorado, according to Bradley.

“I don’t have a crystal ball as to the future, but there are a few things I know definitively: The first is decade No. 2 of legalization in this state needs to look fundamentally different than decade No. 1,” Bradley said. “The cannabis industry is extremely compliant and it can be a good source of revenue for state and local governments, but we need to take a hard look at the regulations that were first put in when no one knew how this was going to go and assess whether that’s actually appropriate or whether it’s time to maybe relax those a little bit.”

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