The Sacramento Bee says California marijuana sales in the early days of legalization are under state projections, but I don’t buy the analysis.
“In the first two months of cannabis legalization, consumers bought an estimated $339 million worth of marijuana products from retailers in California, 13 percent less than state projections, according to a leading analytics firm.
“The state has estimated that retail cannabis sales for the remaining six months of this fiscal year would be $1.15 billion, or $383 million every two months. BDS Analytics of Boulder, Colorado, provided the firm’s data to The Bee.
That’s from http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/california-weed/article208196024.html#storylink=cpy. Thanks to Dale Gieringer of California NORML for sending me the article.
Looks to me like sales might be ahead of projections — straightlining each month is not the right approach. That is, Month 6 should have much higher sales than Month 1. More licenses are being issued all the time, so more supply should be hitting the market. But SacBee seems to think each month should be the same — $383 million of sales every two months, early or late. If sales were not growing over time, then, yes, the first results were about 13 percent under what they should be. But that probably won’t be true — later months will show bigger numbers.
Look at Colorado, as it started out. In January 2014, sales were $14 million. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/0114_MarijuanaSalesReport%20PUBLISH.pdf. In June 2014, sales were over $23 million. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/0614_MarijuanaSalesReport%20PUBLISH.pdf. That’s over 50 percent growth.
And look at Washington State. In the first month of legality, sales were $80,600,702.15. In the sixth month, sales were $115,235,047.23. https://data.lcb.wa.gov/stories/s/WSLCB-Marijuana-Dashboard/hbnp-ia6v/. That’s almost 50 percent growth.
California sales should go up, too, during the six-month period. So I contend they are on track, or ahead of projections. Under most scenarios, except a snafu in issuing licenses, they will go up enough to reach projections.