SOUTHERN COLORADO — Marijuana sales across Colorado have declined drastically in the last year, and that includes here in the Pikes Peak Region.
Local dispensary shop owners, managers and employees on the medicinal and recreational side told News5 about a number of reason behind the decline in sales, including inflation and newer legislation in Colorado.
“The decline really hit the medical industry at the first of the year when legislation went in place,” said Waddington.
HB21-1317 went into affect on January 1, and it requires dispensaries to limit how much cannabis concentrate a customer can buy.
“Our patients can no longer purchase the amount of medicine they were buying last year at this time,” said Renze Waddington, a managing partner at The Epic Remedy, a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs.
Waddington says like many others shops, his shop has seen a decline in sales this year. Other shops in Colorado Springs reported a 30% decline in sales the past year.
“I do think inflation is playing into this. I think we're in a time where everybody's budgets are being stretched and I think all businesses and everybody is feeling it right now,” said Waddington.
According to the June 2022 Sales and Use Tax Revenue Report for Colorado Springs, the medical marijuana industry was hit the hardest last month with the city reporting a 35% decrease in sales tax collection, which is around nearly $74,000.
“I think that is a big hit for this industry, but I think all industries are taking a hit right now on their sales and profitability,” said Waddington.
News5 also reached out to more than ten recreational marijuana dispensaries between Pueblo and Manitou Springs.
No one could comment on camera, but they shared their reasons and thoughts for the decline in sales. They said the cost of marijuana is going up because the industry is trying to keep up with inflation, and that's deterring customers.
Plus Texans and other out-of-state visitors who used to travel to Southern Colorado for marijuana are no longer doing so. It’s become more easily accessible in New Mexico and Oklahoma with legalization of recreational use in New Mexico, and medicinal in Oklahoma.
Dispensary shop workers are also waiting to see what happens in November. As News5 reported yesterday, Colorado Springs voters will decide if recreational marijuana gets passed in the Springs.
At the state level, there’s also been a 24% decrease in marijuana sales from May 2021 to May 2022. That accounts for medical and recreational marijuana.
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