The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) recently released its monthly report on the state’s medical cannabis program for June 2019. Retail sales volume of flower – as well as all products combined – slipped somewhat after the previous three months saw new sales records established repeatedly. Arizona’s Spot Index exhibited a slight downward trend in June, which corresponds to the contraction of demand from patients.
As of June, Arizona’s medical cannabis program counted 203,516 patients on its rolls. That figure is up by 1.7% from the 200,164 patients registered in the program at the end of May. The rate of increase in the state’s patient count in June is comparable to the 1.6% uptick in registered patients recorded the month prior. Arizona’s patient count is up by 18.2% year-over-year, compared to 172,227 patients counted as of June 2018.
According to ADHS numbers, 12,183 pounds of cannabis flower were sold through the state’s dispensaries in June, a figure that is down by 2.8% compared to the 12,533 pounds retailed to registered patients in May. As a result, May’s flower sales volume remains the record for Arizona’s medical cannabis market.
The ADHS report also includes sales volume figures for edibles and “marijuana other,” which constitutes extracts and non-edible infused products. June saw 464 pounds of edibles sold, down by 6.1% from 494 pounds sold the month prior.
“Marijuana other” products experienced a decrease in sales volume in June. 732 pounds of “marijuana other” products were retailed in Arizona in June compared to 745 in May, a decline of 1.7%.
Combined sales volume of all product types reached 13,379 pounds in June, down by 2.9% from May’s total sales volume of 13,772 pounds. As was the case with flower sales volume, May’s overall sales volume remains the historic high for Arizona’s market.
June’s dip in sales follows two consecutive months in which new sales volume records were established in Arizona’s medical market. In medical cannabis systems, monthly sales can frequently dip after periods of strong demand, as patients may have taken advantage of sales and promotions run during holidays to stock up on their personal supplies. This may well have been the case in Arizona recently, with 4/20 occurring in April and Memorial Day weekend taking place in May.
As we have covered since late last year, sales volume of “marijuana other” products rose sharply as a state Supreme Court case on their legality drew attention and progressed. The case was decided in late May, with the court concluding that extracts and related products were legal in Arizona’s medical cannabis system.
Consequently, the ADHS report for June provides the first indication as to whether the increased demand for extracts was due to apprehensions that they might soon be declared illegal, or whether it was part of more organic market forces as Arizona’s medical cannabis program grows and develops. Based on the small downturn in sales of such products from May to June – behavior that was also observed from March to April of this year – early signs suggest that increased sales of extracts are due more to general demand, rather than related to the state’s Supreme Court case.
June 2019’s total sales volume is up by 37% year-over-year, relative to the 9,768 pounds of all product types sold to patients in June 2018. Considered on its own, June 2019’s flower sales volume is up by a slightly smaller proportion – 36.3% – compared to the 8,937 pounds retailed in the same month a year prior. The year-over-year growth rate in edibles sales volume for June 2019 was lower than that of flower at 10.7%. Meanwhile, the increase in sales volume of “marijuana other” products from June 2018 to 2019 was 77.7%.