This became most obvious when looking at tax revenue, but there are other signs as well. Dispensaries are closing down, and delivery services and social clubs are still working to find their footing. This is helping bring tax revenues down, and as more states legalize, folks are beginning to worry that the Colorado cannabis boom is finally drawing to a close.
“More people are going to get laid off. We are probably going to see more small shops close down and a lot of brands are going to go away,” says Spencer Ward, salesman for Bronnor Corp., a company that manufactures edibles and infused products for brands across Colorado stores.
As of July, taxes and fees collected from retail cannabis reached $198.3 million, which is down $53.7 million, 21% from 2021. Colorado saw record sales in 2021, as dispensaries reached $2.2 billion and brought in $423.5 million in taxes, but this year is significantly lower.
Now, the fear is that if this decline continues throughout the year, state taxes that go to things like the Public School Fund will fall. It’s possible that the industry could bring in closer to $24.9 million for the Fund versus the $31.5 million brought in last year. The retail sales tax distribution to local governments could also drop from $27.8 million to $22 million.
This also goes hand in hand with the 44% drop that has been seen in medical cannabis sales, which Truman Bardley, head of the Marijuana Industry Group trade organization, calls “a big, big deal.”