July 22, 2019

April 2019 Retail Cannabis Sales 12% Higher Than in April 2018


The Nevada Department of Taxation (NDOT) recently released sales and tax data from the state’s legal cannabis market for April 2019. Total retail revenues and those in the adult-use sector declined from March’s record highs, but both figures were the second-highest recorded in the history of Nevada’s market to this point. Wholesale prices ascended in April, likely on strong demand in the prior month, as well as retailers stocking additional inventory for 4/20.

According to NDOT data, Nevada cannabis retailers generated over $53.3 million in revenue in April, down from over $59.7 million in sales in March, which remains the record high for the state’s market. Those figures include both retail sales of adult-use and medical cannabis, with April’s off by 10.7% compared to March’s cumulative revenues. April 2019’s total taxable sales in Nevada are up by 12.2% year-over-year, compared to over $47.5 million in cumulative revenue recorded in April 2018.

Of April 2019’s sales total, over $49.5 million was constituted by adult-use cannabis sales, or 92.9% of overall monthly revenues. In March, $53.6 million in adult-use sales made up 89.7% of total revenue. April’s retail revenues from the adult-use market are down by 7.6% month-over-month.

Sales of cannabis to medical patients, as well as any revenues from other goods, decreased by roughly 38% from March to April, from over $6.1 million to under $3.8 million, respectively.

The downturn in retail revenues from March to April matches trends in consumer and patient demand documented in other, more mature legal cannabis markets, such as Colorado. Additionally, it shows that the record-setting sales recorded in Nevada in March were not the start of a significant, sustained increase in revenue generated by retailers. Instead, sales in Nevada’s market continue to grow at a pace more measured than that seen in other states that legalized adult-use cannabis sales previously, emphasizing how strong demand was out of the gate when Nevada retailers opened their doors to general consumers in July 2017.

On the production side, Nevada’s 15% wholesale excise tax applies to transfers of product in both the adult-use and medical sectors of the state’s legal cannabis industry. Receipts from the state’s supply-side excise tax in April increased to over $3.89 million, up by 10.9% from over $3.51 million collected in March. The uptick in collections from the state’s wholesale excise levy indicates that the volume of product traded and transferred by cultivators to retailers and processors expanded in April, likely because of the increased retail demand faced by storefronts in March, along with the 4/20 holiday.