Maryland’s long-awaited adult-use cannabis program launched on July 1st, 2023, and the state has already witnessed a significant increase in sales during the first few days. However, the final days of the medical-only market also showcased interesting trends as patients prepared for the transition.

On Friday, June 30th, the last day of medical-only sales, Maryland experienced a remarkable surge in revenue compared to previous weeks. Data revealed that the average retail sales per medical dispensary reached nearly $32,000, a substantial 55.6% increase from the average of the previous four Fridays. This surge in sales was primarily driven by a significant rise in transaction volume, which increased by 32.7%. Moreover, other key metrics, such as average transaction sizes (+17.3%), average items per transaction (+12.0%), and average item prices (+4.8%), all demonstrated an upward trend. These statistics suggest that medical patients stockpiled cannabis products anticipating the influx of recreational customers.

On the first day of adult-use sales, July 1st, Maryland cannabis retailers experienced a substantial boost in revenue. The average total sales per retailer reached nearly $50,000, representing a remarkable 252% increase compared to the average of the previous four Saturdays when the market was still limited to medical sales. Transaction volume also soared, reaching 275% higher than the same time frame, indicating that the average size of transactions slightly decreased by -6% from $88.11 to $82.74.

The launch of the adult-use program also significantly changed the discounting practices in Maryland’s cannabis market. Before the program’s initiation, the average discount on cannabis products was approximately 20% throughout June. However, with the arrival of adult-use sales, this average discount was slashed in half to approximately 10% during the first ten days of July.

The introduction of the adult-use program also profoundly impacted the sales distribution across different product categories. A comparison between the first two weekends in June (3-11) and the initial days of July (1-9) revealed a remarkable 129% increase in total sales. Pre-Rolls, Flower, and Edibles, have gained significant market share in the new adult-use landscape, while wellness products, which played a larger role during the medical-only days, have taken a hit. Notably, Flower accounted for half of all sales, notably higher than other regions in the country. Vapor Pens ranked second, capturing nearly a quarter of all sales. However, Edibles, Pre-Rolls, and Concentrates have shown relatively low representation compared to the national average. Analysts predict these figures will likely increase in weeks and months.

As Maryland’s adult-use cannabis program evolves, these early sales trends provide valuable insights into consumer preferences and market dynamics. Retailers and industry stakeholders are closely monitoring these developments to adapt their strategies and meet the growing demands of the state’s medical and recreational customers.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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