colorado legal marijuana sales
Marijuana Business News Medical Marijuana Policy

Demand For Medical Marijuana Plummets In Colorado

colorado legal marijuana salesMedical marijuana has been available at dispensaries in Colorado for awhile now. Until recently, there has been a fairly steady growing demand for medical marijuana. However, in November demand plummeted in Colorado. Sales for recreational marijuana held steady during the same time. Recreational sales have been allowed for a little over a year in Colorado. Per The Cannabist:

Colorado’s legal cannabis industry experienced an unusual autumn in 2014 — one that saw recreational pot sales reach a plateau of sorts as demand for medical marijuana took a nosedive.

Medical marijuana sales in Colorado tanked in November as they dropped nearly 17 percent from the previous month, according to just-released data from the Department of Revenue. Medical dispensaries sold $27.5 million of cannabis in November, a big downturn from October’s $33.1 million in medical revenues. Meanwhile the state’s recreational weed sales are holding strong — with $31.2 million in November and $31.6 million in both October and September.

It’s tough to say what caused the dip in medical marijuana sales. I’m sure people will be quick to point to recreational marijuana as the cause. However, if recreational sales remained steady during the same time, obviously people didn’t switch from buying at dispensaries to recreational stores. Patients simply didn’t buy as much marijuana from dispensaries during that time. Did they go back to the blackmarket, where prices are much cheaper? Did they just not buy any marijuana at all?

  • Potvin Dave

    It’s cheaper and just as good if not better, why would we fund the assholes trying to arrest us for it?! Keep the black market strong!

    • Uncle Arthur

      You keep the black market strong, yourself. I like going to a legal store front. Black market does not guarantee customer satisfaction. The black market protects rip off artists and allows for no customer recourse other than vigilantism to ensure satisfaction. The black market does not fund education in Colorado. The black market just funds some sleazy dealer’s new shiny rims or some other toys. No thanks.

      • ty

        Your as ignorant as the rest. The government has made it impossible for a young family with kids to do what they want in life most just do what they can. At 23 i realize this. I want my family to move west this summer so we can legally use our meds. It became apparent that my 12 dollar an hour job wasent cutting it so as of a month iv had to find a different way. I assure you i have no shiny fkin rims and my buds as fresh or as potent as most. My first net post ever but you typed such stupidity and ignorence couldent help it

        • Uncle Arthur

          Ty, thanks for being frank. So, let me be frank with you as well.
          Ty, the problem is not me. You are the reason why you are struggling. Your semi-literate post has displayed such poor use of grammar and spelling that you really should be ashamed that a 23 year old like yourself can’t communicate more effectively. That may be the reason why you are having such poor job prospects. In Colorado, legalization supports education. So I find your poorly structured post ironic, especially when you vociferously defend the black market. You come off like a whiny entitled poor pitiful me uneducated brat that blames everyone else for your own failures. Your family deserves a lot better than that.

          • Haha

            Your shit’s riddled with grammatical errors, too, brah.

          • I’m with this guy

            Yeah, this guy’s right. What an a**

          • Me too

            I agree with these fine people above me.

          • This is great

            I didn’t read any of this, but I agree, too!

          • David

            Lighten up. Is this a weed blog, or, an English language grammar course ?

          • Desolation Angel

            I just got my medical card 2 months ago, and thank God. I was a little taken aback when their prices were more than 50% higher than what my son was getting me from his friend’s step dad. Turns out that the step dad is growing/treating his father in law’s chronic pain and dispensing it to compassion centers as well. He said right at the beginning it would be cheaper to stay with him… and it was. I go to the compassion center for more of the elaborate strains and to try out all the different options, but the bulk of what I get is off the street, but from a licensed provider, (who lives less than 5 miles away). Like a person said above. Find a way to breach the idea with your friends, that you want to try it for pain, but you were wondering if they might know someone who could ‘hook a brother up” just to try it out. I started with my Dr. and he wasn’t particularly hip. But I was seeing an osteopath about a bunch of other medical problems I am having and she said her partner at the clinic would see me and could prescribe marijuana. This was my secret weapon when i went in to talk to him. I have kept a list of EVERYTHING I have tried/used/done to deal with the back pain and other stuff. It is 2 iPhone pages of text long. He asked some questions, read my list and said I was only the second person he had sever prescribed it for, because he could see that I had been trying a lot of things including 40mg of Vicodan a day with little to no relief. He was a bit excited because instead of having to write down everything from my list, he had me email it to the office and they just cut and pasted it into both my file and my recommendation. That helped a LOT! He approved me in 15 minutes, and said the list was invaluable for him to make his determination. (By the way, this is NOT in California where just about anyone can get a card. I live in Rhode Island and this is ALL new to me, and to the state). Anyways, it has made it a lot cheaper for me. My wife refuses to grow as our 17 and 21 year old sons still live at home. I completely trust them, but my wife doesn’t want it all over the place, as we have a tiny house and she hates the smell. so now, my anxiety is under SO much more control, I can eat a little now, my opioid consumption is down as well as muscle relaxers, I can finally SLEEP, and the pain is down a LOT. (it NEVER goes away, but pot makes it a lot more tolerable and less noticeable). I just need to find a way to stealthily sneak a pipe and enough dope through TSA and Carnival Cruise Lines so that I can be pain free on my 2 cruises this year, without winding up in the brig! I am looking into buying a wax vaporizer to see how stealthy that could be. a

            Can anyone offer advise on how to transport pot and paraphernalia onto an airplane and then a cruise ship? Like containers, weed, wax, pipe and maybe a few edibles.

            If anyone has advice I thank you in advance. Again, I am completely new to this so please be gentle!

          • David

            If you’re ultimate destination is outside of the United States. I wouldn’t travel with cannabis at all. I recently returned front Switzerland they saw my Washington address when they scanned my passport and removed every item from my bags. Same in London. Just be careful and follow international law would be my advice. By the wa, as soon as I’d left the airport I was approached by many individuals selling world peace weed.

          • denny

            Wow, you’re qualified to run for congress since you can agree with something you haven’t read…

          • gus

            One too many commas. When in doubt, leave it out.

          • David

            Unless you live in Hawai’i. The use of the colloquial term “brah” would be considered a grammatical error. Just saying.

          • Bic

            Damn! I didn’t know stoners could be so mean. Just remember what they say about “divide and conquer”. hope I haven’t committed any grammatical errors here….

          • David

            We’re not grading papers here. No worries.

          • reefer

            what “storefront” guarantees customer satisfaction? i dont know about Colorado, but in Cali., its “buyer beware”. and youre going to find much better herb if you just ask regular people. they shut down all the good dispensaries in SF in 2012, leaving all the schwag peddlers be. most dispensary bud anymore doesnt even have a high comparable to bricked imports.

        • David

          Have fewer kids?

    • Dr. Jones

      Does your drug dealer list the fungicides, miticides, and herbicides they use? Do they use safe nutrients or purge for at least a week? Would you give that weed to your grandmother to help her with her glaucoma? I don’t know! but.. Why fund assholes indeed?!?! Why not give the money to someone who needs it?
      If you buy from a store then a reputable business owner makes money, creates jobs employing workers to keep up with demand, and a lot of the taxes go to benefit children around the state. If you buy from a LEGAL medical caregiver (home grower) then you are supporting them, and their family. Also some medical caregivers will grow your cannabis for free if you cannot afford it! (especially high CBD) You may actually be subsidizing someone’s cancer or epilepsy treatment by buying marijuana from the right person! Your drug habit could save a life!

    • custie

      I’d rather not have to try to get a hold of a friend of a friend of a friend and wait 3 days w/o herb only to to have them not call me back. I’d rather not drive 30 miles to pay top dollar, only to get home and find out that I just bought a light bag of pretendica with no way to get my money back. The black market sucks. Only a dealer would think otherwise.

    • David

      Many times those involved in the black market also sell Narcotics. Sorry, but I personally wouldn’t want to be anywhere in the same vicinity. To each their own.

  • S Rowan Wilson

    This is not a big deal. The interpretations may be off; Medical sales may have seemingly just leveled-out. There are also many patients who grow their own. Others are still reaping the benefits of harvest. You folks have also lowered the cost of obtaining a medical recommendation so the growth was huge thereafter. I’d call it a return to normalcy. this is following a classic ceiling pattern if one were watching this as a commodity stock trading it. And for the black market? There will always be a small section, like it or not. Talk to the moon shine makers in the greater SE if you doubt it!

    • David

      Grow amounts are too low for patients if the state’s medical law is defined as per household not per patient as most currently are.

  • Valient

    Or are they growing it more themselves?

    • The truth

      Potvin Dave is obviously an idiot. Only an idiot would want to keep the black market strong. Fucking Retard!

    • I would think that’s it. CO law allows 6 female adult plants, I believe.

      • David

        Scott, 6 plant’s usually aren’t considered enough for sick medical patients, those using only flowers. Anyway. I’m not sure how that changes when making concentrates.is considered. Thanks.

        • And it’s 24 in OR and VT. But my point is that if we’re looking at a dip in medicinal sales, then we only have to account for why there’s less being sold, and at least part of that is probably that people have discovered that growing is cheaper. Especially in the summer. As the summer crop runs out, though, you’d see sales go back up again…

          • David

            In Washington they lowered the number of medicinal plants to 16.The drop could be due also to household economics and some first timers not caring for cannabis. I’m sure in a few months the mystery will be solved. Thanks

    • S Rowan Wilson

      Less than 1/3rd of we the patients grow. Many in nursing homes can’t either. Some don’t want to be burdened, others don’t know how. Compound this w/ the multiple, high quality strains found at better dispensaries, it isn’t necessary or really cost effective. Now, for those of us who prefer to cook and juice plants period, growing is imperative let alone a cost imperative.

      • David

        I’m curious, is using the method you described, doable with lower state recreational grow allowances (4-6 plants) ? Or, should they be raised, say closer to Washington’s medical grow allowance of 16 plants ?

        • S Rowan Wilson

          Depends. I’m not for limiting the plant. And people who grow are seemingly going to grow anyway.

          • David

            I agree to having no limits at all. But I’d prefer to stay state legal

    • David

      Doubtful, many medical patients are too sick or disabled to grow successfully themselves. What they need is continued safe access at the lowest possible pricing. Washington’s medical dispensaries are a perfect example. Unfortunately Washington rec. store owners wrongly view medical dispensaries and patients competitors and would rather see them disappear altogether.

  • claygooding

    Since vaping only removes the “medicine” from whatever strain you put in it many are finding that the cheapest works as well as the best,,it just takes more,,you still end up with the same chemical compounds in the machine.
    Extractions,,,same way,,only the thc and terpenes on the outside of the leaf are stripped by the alcohol or acetone,,the extract from a 12% thc strain is just as strong as one from an 18% thc strain,,you just get less. For maximum quantity the higher thc strains are the best,,for personal use the lower thc strains are more affordable.

    • Bongstar420

      Actually, vaping leaves behind lots of CBD, CBC, CBG, and high boiling point terpenes. Shall we say, the other half of the “medicine” that people really aren’t as interested in as they say they are.

  • Allen McCabe

    The black market is cheaper? I was never getting $100 ounces on the black market like medical people can.

    • David

      I agree. Medical people should be allowed to purchase at the lowest possible price.

    • urbabiezdaddy

      its not what u know its who u know.

      • Bongstar420

        Yep…makes it worth less though

        Who wants to maintain those relationships just for market access?

  • Chris Jackson

    If you are paying for weed you are getting riped off, join the movement, use the two hands and the soil god gave you and grow the pot yourself!

    • David

      Good idea until the realization that most apartment management companies prohibit grows on their properties. Not an issue unless you live in a city where more than one-half of the population rents.

      • Just me

        We own our townhomes but we have bylaws. We’re not suppose to grow but I’m pretty sure that there are people that do anyway. Electricity isn’t covered in the HOA dues so that wouldn’t raise any red flags. If you own your property, the management company doesn’t have the authority to do an illegal search of the inside of your home. All they’re really concerned with is if you pay your HOA dues on time. I have seen people getting bullied and fined for really stupid things. Grumpy neighbors like to complain about everything. It’s more about the money and xenophobia than the safety of the community. Our bylaws get re-written periodically. If the medical marijuana grow ban is considered illegal, it may have to be removed.

        • David

          It’s generally renter’s, non-property owners, that are being shut out of grows. I know many are anyway but not without running a risk of eviction. Property owners have more legal protection. While, renter’s, who often pay one- half or more of a cities property taxes can be out in the street in 30 day’s. Home owners rarely get foreclosed upon unless they fail to pay their mortgage (and sometimes HOA) fee’s but that’s rare. Thanks

          • Just me

            We have some neighbors who think they’re gestapo and likes to see people getting fined or even foreclosed on whether you own your home or not. Some people lie or turn people in for petty and easily fixable violations just to get others in trouble. Some people just like to whine and complain. It’s largely political. We have some neighbors who I think may have some mental instability. There are military and ex military people in my neighborhood with PTSD who thinks it’s their right to order people around. Snobs can be more than annoying. They can be downright mean, hateful, and backstab when you least expect it. They believe “those people” (whoever “those people” are today) will bring down their property values and will try to make your life so miserable, you’ll want to move.

          • Bongstar420

            They lower the property value with their purile concerns..They just don’t see themselves in the mirror, but an imaginary reflection.

        • Bongstar420

          Yes, if you want, you can self supply in a closet without your overlords finding out.

    • Forrest

      Except for those in HUD housing, which are the elderly poor, especially in the mid-west, and can lose their home for one plant in the closet. I know because I spent time in a setting like that. We have to help them. Stone a Senior, I say! For free!

      • Bongstar420

        I wish they would be sent my way..I’m fed up with all these half wits who are functional that want me to give them free drugs just to have access to the market.

        How may of those people demand 2 oz a month for free? Thats the standard here in OMMP land.

    • David

      Unless a person rents their home which half of Americans do. Evictions for apartment grows are becoming more common.

    • Bongstar420

      The same is true for Tomatoes…and computers.

      Why don’t you make those again?

  • David

    Maybe medical and recreational sales are not as interchangeable as once thought ? Something’s certainly not going right.

  • Joe Salmons

    You have to understand that recreational sales are always going to be more steady. A crude example would be the difference between aspirin and beer. Both are “painkillers” to a point. However, people dont use aspirin for recreation. When people need it less because they either 1. die (hopefully not) 2. their condition improves so they need less. Either way sales will always be unsteady for the most part because usage rates will change. Recreational users are pretty steady and predictable. Its friday…time to get high. (you know?)

    http://www.cannabsitherapysolutions.com

    • Bongstar420

      Cannabis for pain relief is hardly worth more than asprin since it could be grown like hemp, extracted, and strain type is no where near as important as people think..you just mix cannabinoids with stuff sourced from other places…like CBDA + Limonene for breast cancer as a simple example. CBDA from hemp, Limonene from Orange waste

  • High taxes will kill hemp. No more taxed than tomatoes. Lets go back to the way things were before 1937. It is the Conservative thing to do.

  • Just me

    Competition brings the price down. There were dealers that had to close their basement grows because legalization brought the price down. Suddenly the legal market is flooded with high grade medical pot that has to be sold quickly. There’s some shops that give it away for free with a purchase of something else to keep their products rotated. More money is being pumped into medical research too which is a good thing. I’m looking forward to better otc pain relievers and other cannabis based otc products.

    • Bongstar420

      Medical research will take the fun out of the “medicine.”

      Or are we going to start selling cherry flavored Vicodin candy to all “pain patients” who claim “need?”

  • Whyiowa4medical

    Man, I wish I were in Colorado right now!!! Too many with medical cards for hangnails as well as things that get better, but cannabis will help. Cannabis was not always the right thing for me either as I could not take the smell, the taste, nor the effects. When a lifelong disease struck me (that was not diagnosed for 43 years) at 15, it was the smell that called to me. I believed I was a recreational user, but I was not as my research and thesis in college (for a better position in medicine) proved, I had a medical need. Wait for the acceptance of my research platforms and you will understand what I mean 100%. For now, do not let this small reduction bother anyone, we need real professionals behind the counter. When I first used cannabis, if it hadn’t been the general Mexican weed, I would likely not have continued had I been handed a knockout strain. People cannot be messed with in this manner, you will lose clientele that could easily benefit from the herb. If a MEDICAL dispensary does not start a beginner on a low THC strain and allow them to come to terms with increased potency, then they do not believe in what they are doing and must be replaced with someone who cares about patient needs. I am considering starting over with the heirloom strains and using what we know today; begin the medical game over from scratch, even re-crossing ditch hemp in the mix to shorten the season. I could easily get used to a one hit wonder strain, but you can be certain I wouldn’t go beyond three as this is where Marinol failed, forcing too much on a person better served by low THC.

    • Bongstar420

      “patients” don’t demand anything but the best for the least.

      Dispensary shelves are stocked with what they demand…principally, highly psychoactive and more stimulating than sedating (because they want to be high all day long).
      There is a reason the THC varieties are bred to be psychotropic first “medical” second and not “medical” first with psychotropic being unavoidable.

  • Greg Duran

    The measure needs to be in volume not dollars. Like barrels or gallons. We will see $49 ozs here during the week before. Medical is more on the premium end and is more expensive. Greenhouses are coming to maintain the profit margin. Fasten your seat belts folk is going to be a bumpy ride for everyone. Market forces are creating new challeges.

    • Bongstar420

      If “medical” is on the “premium end,” why do they expect it to be cheaper even without taxes?

  • Silverado

    This is the same exact headline they’d like to be reading in the media in Washington state. Trouble is their recreational scheme is too heavily taxed for the medical area to simply just go away. So what do the prohibitionists that run the program plan on doing?? Dropping taxes or anything similar to otherwise LOWER the taxes and the price of their much too expensive recreational cannabis? Nope….they’d prefer acting like the Mafia and just take out the competition, in this case being the medical cannabis legislation that was passed via an initiative MORE THAN ONCE before being enacted finally in 1998. Every time this was voted on it passed with an easy majority. I don’t know but I just can’t help but feel like there’s a ready bunch of lawyers just waiting for this to be either proposed or acted upon by Olympia who’s clients not only disagree vehemently with that strategy, they’re going to be be willing to put their money where their proverbial mouths are to make sure this is either defeated outright. Or at the very least, it could be tied up in litigation for so long as to eventually become even more irrelevant than it already is, especially to the legal and lawful medical cannabis patient already content with the present MMJ laws that till now have worked and served us ALL so well.

    • David

      Bravo!

    • Bongstar420

      If “medical” had the same tax and reg structure as rec, would it continue to exist?

  • urbabiezdaddy

    maybe all those people cropped their bud and didn’t buy any and smoked their own shit.

  • Cyndysub

    Maybe people were watching their money for Xmas.

  • schnackytobaccy

    Plummet? Hardly! Look at oil prices….now thats a plummet

    • Bongstar420

      As to be expected by the more scalable, less skill demanding work of producing cannabis varieties for concentrate…

      How many concentrates are made from high quality, salable flower again?

  • Bongstar420

    Seems most likely the result in more p2p sales….this stems from the fact that +70% of their “med” grows are single growers producing for single patients.

    …if Tomatoes got you high…we would see the same thing