Arizona Witnesses Nearly Year-Long Low in Marijuana Sales as Numbers Begin to Decline

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In the realm of Arizona, the trajectory of the marijuana market experienced a downtrend during the month of May, as indicated by the latest statistics unveiled by the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR). Within this context, sales of recreational cannabis for adult consumption witnessed a decline, dwindling to a sum of $82.9 million. Concurrently, the domain of medical cannabis underwent a diminishment in sales, plunging to a meager $28.3 million, marking the lowest point since the inception of recreational sales in the early days of January 2021.

The trajectory of medical sales has showcased a persistent downturn, tracing back to its zenith of $73.3 million attained in the month of April 2021. By the time July of the same year unfolded, the realm of medical cannabis sales descended beneath the $40 million threshold for the first instance, and unfortunately, this downturn has since remained unrectified.

In the epoch stretching from September 2022 onward, the ambit of medical sales has maintained a hovering range that flutters around the $30 million mark.

Contrastingly, the sphere of recreational cannabis has experienced instances of nearly tripling the aforementioned figures for several periods in the calendar of 2023. Astonishingly, this trend has persisted without faltering, a fact corroborated by the most recently disseminated report.

Originally anticipated to exceed the $100 million landmark in the month of March, the estimates for recreational sales were subject to an adjustment by the ADOR, resulting in a downward revision by approximately $1 million during the month of May. Meanwhile, there was an upward recalibration of the sales projection for the month of April, surging from an initial figure of $86.5 million to a revised estimate of $90.1 million.

The total sales figure for the month of May marked a nadir not observed since the time frame encompassing September 2022, as during that juncture, the ADOR had documented sales figures amounting to $80.9 million.

Spanning a period of 29 months from the commencement of recreational sales, the expanse of the medical cannabis market has yielded a total sales value of $1.4 billion. In tandem, the recreational facet of the market has achieved sales surpassing the $2 billion echelon. This noteworthy achievement can be attributed to the legislative enactment of the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, which received the approbation of voters in the year 2020, thereby legalizing the possession and utilization of marijuana for adult individuals who have surpassed the age of 18.

The inaugural instance when the cumulative sales of medical and recreational cannabis exceeded the $100 million milestone was manifested in the chronicle of March 2021. The sales volume for medical cannabis marginally exceeded $73 million, while the corresponding figure for the realm of recreational cannabis reached a notable $59 million.

Subsequent to this milestone, the cumulative sales across the cannabis domain have consistently exceeded the coveted $100 million threshold every successive month.

It is imperative to note that the juncture when the sales figures for recreational and medical cannabis last converged to a near-equal standing was in the epoch of October 2021. During this temporal framework, sales in the arena of adult-use cannabis tallied up to a value of $65.8 million, juxtaposed with medical cannabis sales amounting to $64.4 million.

In terms of the fiscal landscape, the month of May saw the collection of taxes from recreational cannabis sales, culminating in a sum of $13.3 million. The cumulative tax revenue amassed from both the medical and recreational programs aggregated to a figure of $15.6 million.

Within the dominion of recreational sales, the state mandates a 16 percent excise tax, distinct from the conventional sales tax. On the other hand, medical patients bear the burden of approximately 6 percent in state sales tax. Moreover, local jurisdictions impose an additional levy of approximately 2 percent on all transactions associated with the realm of marijuana commerce.


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