Cannabis Demand in Massachusetts Remains Elevated While Legalization Lags in Neighboring States Photo: Peter James Eisenhaure/Unsplash
October 26, 2021

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) released adult-use market data for September 2021 recently. September sales were $118,994,054, down 5.4% from the August sales figure of $125,843,930. September marked the second month in a row of lower sales, although the August drop in sales was likely due July having five weekends, when sales typically go up.

Quarterly sales, on the other hand, are on an absolute tear, with Q3 2021 sales up 11.2% over Q2, after Q2 sales jumped 21.6% over Q1 2021. Year-on-year things really heated up, with 2021 sales to date jumping through the $1 billion mark in September. Year-to-date sales are already outpacing full year 2020 sales by 42.6%. At the current pace, 2021 sales will be $1.27 billion.

Massachusetts also supplies average retail price data for flower. It is evident we are beginning to see a bit of price deterioration in per-ounce retail prices with September, at $362.49, down 1.3% from August 2021. The per-ounce retail price is down 4.5% year-on-year.

As recently as August there were only just over 50 active cultivator licenses in Massachusetts’ adult use market. However, recent CCC information shows the number of licensees with permission to commence operations is as follows: 61 Cultivators, four Microbusinesses, 50 Product Manufacturers, 175 Retailers, and five Courier licenses, thereby expanding growing, production, and distribution services. Given Massachusetts’ population, there appears to be much more room for growth for cultivators, product manufacturing, and distribution, as well as retail outlets and delivery services.

The average retail price per pound in September was $5,800, 1.3% lower than the average price per pound year to date, at $5,877. September’s average retail price per pound represents an over 60% premium compared to Cannabis Benchmarks’ mean wholesale Spot price for the state in September.

Massachusetts also issued sales data for their Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers – the term the state uses for dispensaries. September 2021 medical sales were $25,157,624, down 5.5% from August. Year-on-year, medical sales are up 1.9%. Year-to-date medical sales stand at $242 million.

Cannabis Benchmarks’ Massachusetts Spot price – which includes wholesale transactions from both the state’s adult use and medical market – rallied from Spring 2020 through December 2020, when it peaked. Prices are likely to remain buoyant with demand from New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey continuing into next year. New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey have all experienced delays in implementing an adult use program, which should support prices in the Bay State until at least mid-2022, and likely longer.