Several of New England’s six states are a public record black hole when it comes to sales figures – something other states, like those in the Midwest, have done without much applause.
One way to create an apples-to-apples comparison is by looking at per capita consumption, since many of New England states are relatively small. For the month of October, Rhode Island sold $6.6 million of cannabis and Missouri sold $24 million, which may not seem like much. But when you normalize the comparison per capita, Rhode Island looks a lot better, selling $6 of weed per capita last month, compared to Missouri’s $3.90 per capita.
Gumming up the works for us and eliminating any possibility of comparison, are Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. They do not report nor collect sales figures for legal cannabis.
“[W]e do not collect that data for our medical market,” said a spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
“For 2020-2021, [Connecticut] would only have medical sales to report, which could be difficult to estimate in the aggregate,” DeVaughn Ward, of the Marijuana Policy Project, explained to Grown In. “[Connecticut] likely doesn’t track sales data because medical cannabis in [Connecticut] is untaxed.”
Still, various organizations, including Connecticut legislators are making projections for future adult-use sales. What are they using as a basis?
The numbers used in a recent Marijuana Policy Project report are based on Colorado’s projections, Ward said. ”[O]ur analysis may be skewed because the medical cannabis market in Colorado was more mature than [Connecticut]’s when they approved adult use sales.”
Rhode Island did not report monthly numbers for 2020, but told us they had an aggregate total of $79,932,175 for the year.
“I provided the data [the Office of Cannabis Regulation] has available,” a spokesperson primly reported.
Sales for Maine’s adult-use program is available online, but state officials did not respond to multiple Grown In requests (over several days) for its medical marijuana program sales figures. Adult use sales for Maine have steadily declined since August.
While the adult-use program does, medical cannabis in Maine does not require seed-to-sale tracking, which likely impacts their ability to report accurate medical sales. Following a $13 million cannabis bust in October, Maine regulators and legislators have been considering adding a seed-to-sale tracking requirement to their medical program. Maybe if that happens, we’ll get solid medical sales data.
Vermont has no online data for its medical marijuana sales, and state officials did not respond to inquiries. But, since Vermont only has six licensed dispensaries, aggregate data would likely reveal specific dispensary sales to any decent sleuth.
Massachusetts, on the other hand, provides an online dataset that lists the plant data and sales by day. The state’s sales have skyrocketed so much and its industry is so large compared to the rest of the region that our chart had to be scaled logarithmically in order for Maine and Rhode Island to be discernable at the bottom.