If you’re in Massachusetts looking to find weed, you’re not alone. After exactly one year of recreational cannabis sales on the East Coast, Bay State regulators are reporting a strong and steady demand for legal weed to the tune of more than $1 million a day.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission released its first set of yearly cannabis sales data this Wednesday, marking the first anniversary of the state’s groundbreaking industry. On a whole, cannabis consumers spent $393.7 million on marijuana in the last 12 months, in what CCC Chairman Steve Hoffman called a “very smooth” transition into adult-use legalization.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars in sales are one measure of success, but I am even prouder of the way in which Marijuana Establishments have worked with the Commission to gain and preserve compliance with our regulations and patrons continue to inform themselves about the law and their responsibilities when they visit Massachusetts stores,” Hoffman said in a statement to Boston.com.
From a tax standpoint, the first year of legal weed sales was a windfall for Massachusetts state coffers. CCC officials collected some $67 million in state excise tax from marijuana sales since dispensaries first opened — $4 million more than initial first-year predictions.
Since last November, the number of licensed cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts has grown from just two stores at the outset to 33 today. And with another 54 pot shops already awarded provisional or final licensing, that number could expand to more than 80 during the state’s second year of legalization.
For comparison’s sake, Canada sold $1.1 billion worth of weed during its first year of legalization, but those numbers came from a country with more than six times the population of Massachusetts and hundreds of licensed dispensaries. At this point, its safe to say that America’s East Coast is ready for legal weed, and Massachusetts is blazing that trail.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter