Colorado cannabis sales plunge nearly 20 percent in 2022
News  /  Cannabis

Colorado’s combined recreational and medical marijuana sales amounted to nearly $1.8 billion in 2022, according to final figures from the state Department of Revenue. But that was a drop of nearly 20 percent compared with 2021 sales of more than $2.2 billion.

That decrease was the steepest in the United States, according to a report posted Feb. 15 on 

Colorado’s 20 percent drop topped Oregon’s 16 percent downturn and Nevada’s 15 percent decrease in sales, the report states.

Market analysts say the sales declines are due primarily to market maturity, oversupply and pricing. They also note that sales in those states surged during the pandemic years, so the decreases at least in part represent a market correction.

Cannabis sales per capita in Colorado traditionally are highest in the nation, the CBT report notes — in 2021 per-capita sales for the 21-and-older population amounted to $429. 

In the state’s most populous counties, however, sales dropped precipitously in 2022. Denver’s retailers suffered a 30 percent decrease in sales, from $682 million in 2021 to $475.5 million last year.

And in El Paso, the state’s most populous county, medical and recreational sales declined 35 percent year-over-year.

Overall, the state’s 10 counties highest in population accounted for more than 75 percent of cannabis sales in 2022, the report says.

Hands off

New data compiled by the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University indicates that most Americans don’t want additional regulations placed on the cannabis industry in states where it is legal.

The poll asked respondents how they felt about the degree of regulations that already exist on a variety of industries, including cryptocurrency vendors, social media companies, coal manufacturers, makers of electric vehicles and licensed marijuana producers, according to a Feb. 16 post on

The researchers compared the results and found that 45 percent of respondents thought the cannabis industry should be less regulated than it is now; 22 percent thought current regulations were appropriate, and 33 percent thought more regulation is needed.

In contrast, a majority of respondents called for more regulation to protect online privacy and greater regulation of the cryptocurrency market. 

Asked whether government regulation in general stifles economic innovation and growth, or helps to grow the economy in a more equitable manner, the respondents were almost evenly split, NORML reports.

Canna bits

• A revised bill that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the effects of medical cannabis on veterans has been refiled in the U.S. Senate. The new version of the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act is expected to be introduced in the House this week, according to a report posted Feb. 10 at The new bill responds to VA concerns about provisions in previous versions of the bill, the report says, including when and under what circumstances studies must be done.

• Colorado’s Energy Office is accepting applications from licensed cannabis cultivators aimed at reducing the marijuana industry’s energy footprint. According to a Feb. 9 report at, cannabis cultivation comprised 2 percent of the state’s total energy use in 2018, and use has grown since then. The program involves financing and technical assistance focused on promoting more efficient use of electricity, gas, water and other resources. “Colorado was the first state to legalize cannabis and now will be the first state to help licensed cultivation operators make their operation more energy efficient,” Gov. Jared Polis states in a Feb. 9 news release.

• Twitter has become the first social media platform in the United States to allow ads for cannabis products. In a Feb. 15 blog post, the platform announced it will permit licensed advertisers to do “responsible cannabis marketing” on the site. “Twitter is allowing advertisers to promote brand preference and informational cannabis-related content for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services,” the post states. Ads will be subject to a range of restrictions including that they must be preauthorized by Twitter and can’t target customers younger than 21. The rationale for opening up cannabis advertising is that the conversation on Twitter “is larger than the conversation around topics such as pets, cooking and golf, as well as food and beverage categories including fast food, coffee, and liquor.” Google allows limited ads in for FDA-approved medications containing and topical CBD products in California, Colorado and Puerto Rico, according to a Feb. 15 TechCrunch post, while Reddit permits ads for topical CBD products and Meta lets some hemp product manufacturers to advertise.

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