Retail Cannabis Sales in Arizona Continue to Rise Photo Credit: Cash Vickars via Unsplash
June 29, 2021

Arizona officials have released preliminary sales revenue data for April, for both the state’s adult-use and medical cannabis markets. According to Arizona Republic reporter Ryan Randazzo, April’s adult-use sales reached $69.3 million, up 41.7% from March’s $48.9 million in sales to recreational consumers. However, previous reports cautioned that the state Department of Revenue (ADOR) has said that the sales figures are not yet completely accurate, as businesses are still remitting their tax obligations inconsistently.

Medical cannabis sales revenue reached about $85 million in April, according to Randazzo, up 20.2% from $70.7 million in medical cannabis sales recorded in March. As we have covered for some time, the Arizona Department of Public Health’s monthly reports on the state’s medical cannabis system only include sales volume figures. Subsequent to adult-use legalization, ADOR implemented a new code for medical cannabis taxes, allowing monthly revenue figures to be assessed. In our report for May 14, we noted that April’s medical cannabis sales volume was down about 3% from March’s. The jump in sales revenue combined with the downturn in sales volume indicates that retail prices in the medical cannabis sector have climbed significantly since adult-use legalization.

All told, Arizona’s licensed cannabis businesses generated a total of $154.3 million in retail revenue in April. April’s recorded sales are up 29% from $119.6 million in March. As alluded to above, it is possible that taxes from sales made in prior months were only recently reported, inflating April’s revenue somewhat.

Arizona’s Spot Index was generally on the rise from early this year through the end of April, reaching its current year-to-date peak in the final week of that month. The state’s average composite price was up 6% from March’s average.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) recently released its monthly report on the state’s medical cannabis program for May 2021. As of May, Arizona’s medical cannabis program counted 310,053 patients on its rolls. That figure is up by 0.7% from the 307,975 patients registered in the program at the end of April. The rate of increase in patients documented in May continued to decline, as it has since the start of adult-use sales at the end of January.

According to ADHS numbers, 11,351 pounds of cannabis flower were sold through the state’s dispensaries in May, a figure that is down by 6% compared to the 12,070 pounds retailed to registered patients in April. May 2021’s flower sales volume is down by 30.2% from 16,271 pounds in the same month the year prior.

The ADHS report also includes sales volume figures for edibles and “marijuana other,” which constitutes extracts and non-edible infused products. May saw 228 pounds of edibles sold to patients, down 12% from 259 pounds sold the month prior. May 2021’s edibles sales volume is down year-over-year by 50%, from 456 pounds in the same month a year ago.

1,397 pounds of “marijuana other” products were retailed to patients in Arizona in May, compared to 1,743 in April, a decrease of 19.9%. May 2021’s sales volume is up by 3% year-over-year, from 1,356 pounds in May 2020. Sales volume in this product category exploded in 2020, expanding by 92% compared to 2019. Although growth has slowed compared to last year, it remains extremely robust in a medical market where other products are seeing significant year-over-year declines in sales volume.

Combined sales volume of all product types reached 12,975 pounds in May, down by 7.8% from April’s total sales volume of 14,072 pounds. May 2021’s cumulative sales volume is down 28.2% relative to a year prior, when dispensaries sold 18,083 pounds of product to patients.

Arizona’s Spot Index declined through May, suggesting that the state’s producers may be beginning to catch up to demand from adult-use consumers. Arizona’s Spot Price average in May was down by 1% from April’s monthly mean.