Maryland Breaks Cannabis Sales Records Nearly $92 Million Sold in August

Maryland Breaks Cannabis Sales Records Nearly $92 Million Sold in August

Maryland’s cannabis industry continues to hit new heights, as the state reported another record-breaking month for cannabis sales in August. According to data from the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA), licensed dispensaries collectively sold over $91.7 million worth of cannabis products last month, marking a substantial increase from July’s $87 million in receipts. These remarkable figures are more than double the typical sales numbers seen when the market was solely open to medical patients.

The breakdown of sales by product type reveals a diverse range of preferences among consumers. Smokeable flower dominated the market, accounting for a significant portion of the sales at $55.1 million. Following closely were concentrates, contributing $24.7 million, while infused edibles and infused non-edibles recorded $6.2 million and $5.2 million in sales, respectively. Other product categories, including shake or trim and cannabis plants themselves, also made noteworthy contributions.

This surge in cannabis sales can be attributed to a significant policy shift that occurred in Maryland. A new law went into effect, allowing the state’s existing medical dispensaries to commence sales to all adults aged 21 and older. The result was a staggering $10 million in marijuana product sales during the opening weekend alone, as nearly a hundred dispensaries embraced adult-use sales.

Much of Maryland’s cannabis market is currently dominated by multi-state operators (MSOs), which are corporate cannabis companies operating across multiple jurisdictions. Names like Curaleaf, Verano, Green Thumb Industries (GTI), TerrAscend, and Ascend reported the highest sales figures in Maryland last month, as per Jesse Redmond, head of cannabis at Water Tower Research.

In addition to expanding existing dispensaries, Maryland is set to take another significant step in its cannabis industry by accepting applications for social equity marijuana business licenses later this year. MCA recently introduced its Social Equity Verification Portal, enabling prospective applicants to verify their eligibility for these licenses. The initial round of new marijuana grower, processor, and retailer licenses will be exclusively issued to equity applicants, defined as businesses with at least 65% ownership by individuals who have resided in a designated “disproportionately impacted area” for at least five of the last ten years. Additionally, they must have either attended a public school in such an area for at least five years or a four-year college in Maryland where at least 40% of the students are eligible for a federal Pell Grant.

Cannabis sales in Maryland are subject to a 9% tax, with medical purchases being exempt. As a result of this policy change, several million dollars have already been added to the state’s coffers.

However, it’s worth noting that the state’s handling of tax revenue recently came under scrutiny from the prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. The group accused the Maryland Office of the Comptroller of protecting banks that engage in activities that may be against federal law. This allegation emerged after comments from Rob Scheerer, director of the Maryland Office of the Comptroller’s Revenue Administration Division, raised concerns. He noted that “crafty” language was used on tax returns to avoid explicitly mentioning cannabis.

As Maryland’s cannabis market continues to evolve, state regulators are actively working on a “cleanup bill” to make necessary adjustments to regulations. This bill is expected to be taken up by the legislature during the next session.

In addition to record-breaking sales, Maryland has also implemented several laws to ensure fair and responsible cannabis use. Notably, a law prevents police from using the odor or possession of cannabis alone as a basis for a search, while another ensures that lawful and responsible cannabis use by parents and guardians cannot be construed as child “neglect.”

Maryland is not alone in experiencing a cannabis sales surge. Other states with legal cannabis, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, have also reported record-breaking sales in recent months. Illinois, despite having higher prices compared to most states, saw $140 million in recreational marijuana sales in July, with approximately 30% of sales coming from out-of-state visitors. Missouri has been averaging around $4 million per day in marijuana sales since the launch.

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