NEW YORK -- Despite local price wars, sales of recreational marijuana are tracking to record highs, according to a new study of stores in three states.
Researchers said sales growth at recreational-marijuana stores in Colorado, Oregon and Washington was “impressive” for the last quarter of the study’s reporting period, with what it described as an “uptick” in traffic over the summer tourist season. Stores reportedly averaged 200 customers a day.
Washington and Colorado dispensaries posted double-digit growth rates compared to 2015, the report from New York-based Convergex said. Colorado stores generated $458.7 million in revenue this year through July (the latest available data). With five months left of data to report, that number is only $100 million off or 20% away from last year’s sales numbers.
Washington already surpassed 2015’s total ($357.6 million) with revenue at $415.8 million from January through August.
Oregon dispensaries only started selling recreational cannabis last October, but recorded $42.4 million in retail sales in June and July, compared to the $102 million brought all year through July.
While store operators in all three states report pricing pressures, retailers in Colorado said they face discounting tactics vs. falling retail prices. Full prices for an ounce are still in the general range of $150 to $350, with the average price for an eighth now ranging from $25 to $40, compared to $25 to $45 in the last report. Much of the falloff in price is due to discounting.
For example, some stores give an option to buy an eighth of an ounce of cannabis for $20 to $25. Bigger players offer bulk discounts at $100 an ounce or $12.50 for an eighth. Consequently, one contact that offers daily promotional sales is considering adjusting prices to shift to an “everyday low prices” approach, the report said.