Amidst the hype and anxiety of election headlines, Massachusetts officials announced that the state has now collected more than $1 billion in gross cannabis sales since legalization first began.
This information comes from a seed-to-sale tracking system that is mandatory in the state through the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. The Commission reported that as of October 30, the state’s 80 cannabis retailers had reached over $1 billion in sales ($1,000,521,905 to be exact). Now two years after cannabis was legalized in the state, the numbers are expected to continue to increase.
During the first year of legal sales across Massachusetts (in November 2018), cannabis retailers across the state made $393.7 million in total sales. In 2019, the state collected $444.9 million in sales. This represents a huge leap in sales and reflects the growing popularity of recreational cannabis in the New England state. “This sales milestone represents licensees’ ability to successfully support a safe, accessible, and effective adult-use industry, and I am pleased the resulting tax benefits will have a significant impact on communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman. “These numbers also speak to Commission licensing and enforcement staff working around the clock to make sure these businesses and their products comply with all of our regulations, especially the health and safety provisions. Each year, as this marketplace matures, the public will continue to see progress on state mandates and Commission objectives, including our commitment to equity, and the steps we have taken in 2020 are evidence of that.”
As of this year, sales were even higher, coming in at $539 million in spite of the COVID-19 closures that rocked the country. Massachusetts was one of the few states that didn’t deem cannabis businesses essential.
Now that businesses have reopened in Massachusetts, the Commission is making sure that social distancing, sanitation, curbside service and other safe practices are the norm. Despite taking those precautions and cutting down on the number of people inside stores, sales have continued to climb. Over the past two years, Massachusetts has collected $122 million in tax revenue, which funds various state programs.
The Commission’s goal is to come up with a reliable database that will provide information to law enforcement and state officials to make sure that cannabis is not getting into the hands of youth or the illicit market. By closely tracking sales, the Commission is able to both provide economic information and make sure the industry is staying safe.