Legal cannabis sales for both adult use and medical programs were slightly down in May compared to April in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions – except for Maine, which saw growth, according to data from state agencies.
In Illinois, overall cannabis sales (see chart, above) were down 2% in May compared to April and 6% higher year-over-year. The state reports customers from in, versus out-of-state, and for the adult use program out-of-state customers made up for less than 1% of sales since April and for 11% since May 2021. In the state’s adult use program, there were 1% fewer cannabis units sold in May than April.
In Illinois’ medical program, sales totaled $30,132,347 in May, including $13,714,224.16 of bud and $16,418,122 of concentrated and infused products. Over 65,200 patients purchased 1,109,317 grams of dry cannabis, according to the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program.
Industry experts like CannaBizIL executive director Pamela Althoff says May’s slight sales decrease isn’t a sign of bad things to come, but likely because workers returning to the office are consuming less cannabis than they would in the privacy of their own homes.
“I don't think 2% is a material change,” Althoff said. “When there's an extra day in the month, you're gonna see some numeric change. However, I don't think that there's anything significant here.”
“I'll be very interested to watch the patterns that emerge with inflation increasing every day,” she added. “I am not one of those individuals that assumes that they can see into the future. It's still a nascent industry. I believe the most important fact to observe is that all of the stakeholders involved in the industry are doing all they can to normalize the responsible use of cannabis products. And I think that that is more prevalent than anything else.”
In Michigan, May combined sales for the adult use and medical programs were $186,447,806 – a 4% decrease from May. There were 10.9% fewer units sold in May compared to April, and all categories, including flower, shake and trim, concentrates, vape cartridges, infused products, and kief were all down in May.
Michigan’s average adult use retail price per ounce for flower also dropped between April and May, from $133.19 to $130.62.
Michigan also reports the state of plants with cultivators – an insight no other state provides to the public. Last month there were also more vegetative and immature plants in Michigan, yet total flowering plants were down. There were also fewer plants destroyed and harvested.
Sales were also down in Missouri – a 15% decrease from April but a 99% increase year-over-year as the state cruises through its second full year of medical cannabis sales. The program launched in October 2020.
Ohio saw a 23.9% decrease in sales for May compared to April and a 1% decrease in sales year-over-year. The average plant sale in May was $25.71 per 1/10th of an ounce or $257.10 per ounce.
Maine’s May adult use sales were 5.9% higher in May and grew 119% year-over-year. There were 184,427 transactions in May, according to the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy. The average retail price per ounce of bud was down to $277.82. There were $7,056,529 of bud, pre-rolls, and shake sold in May; $2,710,649 of concentrate; and $1,999,466 of infused products.
Maine does not publicly report its medical cannabis sales numbers.
There could be several reasons why Maine’s numbers were up in May, and some speculate it’s from out-of-staters.
“I would speculate that May is the soft beginning of our tourist season. During the summer months Maine’s population expands greatly,” said Michael Saxl, managing principal of Maine Street Solutions, a lobbing group owned by law firm Verrill.
In Massachusetts, year-over-year sales were up 5% but compared to April, May sales were down by nearly 2%. Since adult use retailers opened in November 2018, the state has sold $3.12 billion of adult use cannabis and $832.4 million in the medical program. The average retail cost of an ounce of bud was down in May to $312.78, compared to $397.48 the year prior – a 21% decrease.
There were 1,837,769 plants harvested in May 2022, compared to 932,803 in May of the previous year. That’s a 97% increase.
Medical sales in Rhode Island were also slightly down in May compared to April. Sales in May were $6,105,775, which is 2% lower than April and 23% lower than May 2021.
New Jersey, which began adult use sales last April, sold $15,148,037 of cannabis from May 1 through May 21, the latest reported data. Since sales began April 21, there have been 212,433 transactions.
Other states with legal cannabis sales in the region do not make sales data publicly available.