Connecticut saw a record $22 million in combined recreational and medical marijuana sales last month, preliminary state data released on Monday shows.
March marked the third month since adult-use cannabis sales launched in the state, and there’s been a familiar upward trend in these early months of the rollout.
Medical marijuana purchases are still outpacing recreational sales, with the more established patient market bringing in about $12.6 million and the newer industry seeing $9.6 million in cannabis commerce for the month.
Notably, sales increased in both categories: medical marijuana purchases increased by about $1.2 million compared to February, and adult-use sales grew by about $2.6 million in that timespan.
Historically, state recreational markets tend to overtake the larger industry share as more businesses come online and demand for medical cannabis registrations declines.
The data released by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection does not account for taxes that people are paying at the point of sale for adult-use products. Medical cannabis items are not subject to the same tax.
Meanwhile, Connecticut prosecutors recently dismissed more than 1,500 pending marijuana cases, while modifying about 600 others, following a review as part of the state’s post-legalization criminal erasure program.
Gov. Ned Lamont (D) separately announced in January that the state had cleared nearly 43,000 records for marijuana-related convictions. The legalization legislation that he signed into law in 2021 empowered the state government to facilitate mass cannabis conviction relief.
The state also launched a web portal in January that provides residents with information about the status of their cannabis records and also guides those with older eligible convictions that weren’t automatically erased through the process of petitioning the courts for relief.
Lamont has embraced the state’s adult-use market, which launched at the beginning of the year, saying that he’s optimistic that it will mitigate illicit sales.
He also joked that one of his concerns about the cannabis industry rollout would be finding a place in line at one of the dispensaries. He wasn’t being serious, but the governor previously didn’t rule out the idea of participating in the legal marketplace.
Meanwhile, last month, a Connecticut legislative committee approved a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of psilocybin mushrooms.
Marijuana sales are also going strong outside of Connecticut.
For example, Missouri cannabis sales reached a record $126 million in March, the second month since adult-use shops opened in the state after voters approved legalization at the ballot last November.
The governor of New Mexico recently marked the one-year anniversary of the state’s adult-use marijuana market, touting its more than $300 million in sales since last April as well as the thousands of jobs the cannabis industry has created.
In Arizona, the year-end total for 2022 adult-use cannabis purchases reached $1.4 billion.
In Massachusetts, the state’s recreational market officially exceeded $4 billion in sales in January after launching in 2018.
Conversely, a top Wisconsin senator recently released a legislative analysis that showed just how much money her state lost out to Illinois last year, with Wisconsin residents who lack a regulated market going across the border and spending more than $121 million on marijuana.
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