Inbox: “Massachusetts Marijuana Establishments Surpass $5 Billion In Gross Sales”

The commonwealth “continues to hit record [cannabis] sales even as other states have come online.”

As Talking Joints Memo readers have come to expect, we take pride in providing fair and thorough coverage of regulators and the issues they face. We’re there when Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission members make fools of themselves, and also to remind the public that the agency is making progress in uncharted territory despite all the learning curves and hurdles.

And we’re additionally here to share, explain, and parse data and information coming out of the CCC. As we noted in July, sales numbers hardly tell the full story, especially with so many cannabis businesses struggling. But it’s still news that “adult-use Marijuana Establishments in Massachusetts reached another milestone by surpassing $5 billion in gross sales on August 31 … coming on the heels of three back-to-back record sales months in June, July, and August.”

“Massachusetts continues to hit record sales even as other states have come online. In fact, our neighboring states Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut also had record sales this summer,” CCC Executive Director Shawn Collins said in a statement. “Demand for tested, quality cannabis products remains strong in the region, and consumers shopping in other states have not impacted Massachusetts’ success.”

More from the commission below:

Licensees surpassed the $4 billion mark just eight months prior to surpassing $5 billion, which makes this period the shortest it’s taken for Massachusetts businesses to generate another $1 billion dollars in gross sales. Since the first two adult-use retail stores on the East Coast opened on November 20, 2018, the pace of hitting the next $1 billion aggregate gross sales milestone has continued to quicken, with each subsequent tally occurring faster than the previous one. More information is publicly available through the Commission’s Open Data Platform. Please note that all data is self-reported by licensees and adjusted for voided transactions. These datasets do not represent the Commonwealth’s tax earnings.

Aggregate data recorded in the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system, Metrc, by 317 Marijuana Retailers, 9 Delivery Couriers, and 8 Delivery Operators, and 1 Microbusiness with a Delivery Endorsement that have commenced operations statewide showed that on August 31, $5,001,227,188 in gross sales had been generated. For the safety of drivers, specific delivery sales data by license type or entity is currently not available to the public.

To date, just five Marijuana Retailers, or 1.6% of all such operating businesses, have surrendered or let their license expire in Massachusetts since stores opened in 2018. Overall, 16 Marijuana Establishments, or 2.8% of all previously operating Marijuana Establishments, have surrendered their license, let it expire, or had it revoked since 2018.

Since January, 53 Marijuana Retailers have opened for business across the Commonwealth, in addition to four Marijuana Delivery Operators. As of September 3, operating Marijuana Establishments have generated $1,046,732,984 in sales so far for calendar year 2023. This $5 billion sales milestone comes at a pivotal time, including the Commission’s sixth anniversary. Currently the agency is also undergoing a regulatory review process to implement Chapter 180 of the Acts of 2022: An Act Relative to Equity in the Cannabis Industry

Last month, the agency filed draft regulations with the Secretary of the Commonwealth with proposed changes to its existing regulations, including the agency’s oversight of host community agreements (HCAs), municipal equity requirements, and suitability reform. Under the new law, the agency has a deadline of November 9 to promulgate the new/revised regulations.

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