December 21, 2021

The Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) released its monthly Marijuana Sales Report for October 2021 this week. Combined retail (the state’s term for adult use) and medical sales were $176.4 million, down 2.6% from $181.1 million in September 2021 and down 11.7% from October 2020’s $199.8 million.

Year-to-date CDOR reports $1.9 billion in combined adult use and medical sales through October, 13.2% below 2020 total sales. Year-to-date sales are on pace to exceed 2020’s combined adult use and medical sales by $91.9 million.

October 2021 retail sales (adult use), at $147 million, were down 2.4% from September’s retail sales of $150.8 million and down 8.6% from October 2020’s $161 million.

CDOR also reported on November 2021 Marijuana Tax Revenue, which corresponds generally to October sales activity. The 15% wholesale tax is levied on adult use cultivators when unprocessed cannabis plant material is sold or transferred to a processor or retailer. November 2021 brought $8.6 million to state coffers from that tax, 3.2% less than the $8.9 million collected in October 2021 figure and down 15.2% year-on-year. Year-to-date as of November 2021, the 15% excise tax collected stands at $110.1 million and is 18.8% higher than the amount collected from January through November 2020.

Average Market Rates (AMRs) are used by the state to assess the wholesale excise tax on internal transfers of flower, trim, and other plant material between commonly-owned adult use licenses. After a surge in AMRs in July 2021, such that AMRs for bud for extraction jumped 70% and trim for extraction jumped 26%, AMRs have generally fallen since Q3. AMRs are calculated on prices gathered in previous quarters, such that Q1 2022 rates are based on data from the METRC reporting system for September, October, and November 2021. AMRs have been adjusted for Q1 2022, as depicted in the table below.

Colorado wholesale flower prices are down about $219 per pound since June 2021, but the pace of weekly losses has slowed. The 20-week average loss per pound is -$7.33, but the 10-week average loss per pound each week has narrowed by 84% to just -$1.16, suggesting downside price momentum is slowing. Indeed, there has been a small uptick in prices for outdoor and indoor product as the immediate effects of the harvest wane. Spot losses have narrowed, though the trend is still down.