The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) recently released its monthly report on the state’s medical cannabis program for January 2019. Retail sales volume of flower – as well as all products combined – subsided somewhat after reaching record highs in December 2018, but remained elevated in general, especially compared to the same time a year ago. Wholesale prices continued to tick downward for the most part in January, behavior that characterized the month prior as well.
As of January, Arizona’s medical cannabis program counted 188,935 patients on its rolls. That figure is up by 1.6% from the 186,002 patients registered in the program at the end of December. The rate of increase in the state’s patient count in January accelerated compared to the 1.2% uptick in registered patients recorded the month prior. Arizona’s patient count is up by 20.6% year-over-year, compared to 156,663 patients counted as of January 2018.
According to ADHS numbers, 10,773 pounds of cannabis flower were sold through the state’s dispensaries in January, a figure that is down by 3.9% compared to the 11,211 pounds retailed to registered patients in December. December’s flower sales volume still represents the monthly record for Arizona’s market, while January’s is the third-highest total ever recorded, after December and November 2018.
The ADHS report also includes sales volume figures for edibles and “marijuana other,” which constitutes extracts and non-edible infused products. January saw 454 pounds of edibles sold, down from 476 pounds sold the month prior.
“Marijuana other” products continued to show elevated sales after a big increase in sales volume in December; 548 pounds of “marijuana other” products were retailed in Arizona in January, compared to 550 in December. Sales volume figures for extracts and other non-edible infused products reached only 504 pounds in November 2018. The Arizona Supreme Court has recently agreed to hear a case that could result in cannabis extracts being declared definitively illegal in the state. It is possible the pending legal proceeding is driving increased demand for such products.
Combined sales volume of all product types reached 11,774 pounds in January, down by 3.8% from December’s record high of 12,237 pounds.
January 2019’s total sales volume is up by 41.5% year-over-year, relative to the 8,323 pounds of all product types sold to patients in January 2018. Considered on its own, January 2019’s flower sales volume is up by a comparable proportion – 40.9% – compared to the 7,645 pounds retailed in the same month a year prior. However, the growth rates of the other product categories are slightly higher. This is becoming typical of most markets that track sales, whether medical or adult-use, which have seen flower’s market share decrease over time.