Massachusetts set a new record for marijuana purchases in 2023, with December capping the year off as the best-ever sales month, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) said in a press release Tuesday.
Adult-use marijuana establishments in the state grossed more than $1.56 billion in sales last year, surpassing total gross sales in 2022 by $78 million and marking the sixth consecutive year of record-setting growth for the industry since the first legal sales of the substance began in 2018, the CCC said.
The sales figures are self-reported by retailers and recorded in the state’s mandatory seed-to-sale system. Sales for almost every month in 2023 surpassed sales from the same months in 2022, with December generating more than $140 million in purchases, according to the press release.
Adding to the record-breaking year, 2023 included the four highest cannabis sales months since the CCC started tracking data in 2018.
And close to 100,000 people purchased a combined $225 million worth of marijuana for medical purposes, CCC said, once again surpassing the record for medical cannabis sales in the state in a single calendar year.
“This continued growth confirms that Massachusetts’ regulated marijuana industry is still a maturing market,” said CCC Chair Ava Concepcion in a statement. “As more retailers and delivery licensees come online, flower prices start to stabilize, and the stigma surrounding cannabis slowly dissipates — legal, tested products are becoming more accessible, affordable, and approachable than ever before, and that’s reflected in the multiple sales records licensees broke in 2023.”
Voters approved a ballot initiative to end cannabis prohibition in the state in 2016. The first sales of marijuana began on Nov. 20, 2018.
The CCC assumed oversight of the state’s cannabis industry from the Massachusetts Department of Health in December 2018.
The commission announced last month that it would begin accepting applications for its Social Equity Program (SEP) beginning Feb. 5. SEP is a “statewide technical assistance and training program that creates sustainable pathways into the regulated cannabis industry for individuals most impacted by the War on Drugs,” according to its website. It was first launched in 2018 and the next group of applicants will constitute the program’s fourth cohort, according to CCC.
As of the end of 2023, 338 marijuana retailers and 21 delivery businesses had received the commission’s approval for operations. There are currently 103 additional medical marijuana treatment centers operating in the state, the CCC’s press release said.
As of Jan. 28, cannabis retailers and delivery businesses had recorded more than $5.65 billion in gross sales since reporting started.
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