Chart: Forced store closures hit Massachusetts marijuana retailers to the tune of $2 million per day

Lost recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts stemming from forced store closures already could amount to $40 million among the state’s cannabis retailers, underscoring business owners’ need to be strategic about their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Massachusetts adult-use marijuana retailers, which were forced to close on March 24 by the governor, might be missing out on nearly $2 million in daily sales. 

Data from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission shows that during the period of Dec. 30, 2019-March 8, 2020, weekly sales averaged $12.6 million, or $1.8 million per day.

Sales began an upward trend on March 11, coinciding with general consumer stockpiling, with sales averaging $15.5 million over the next two weeks – a 19% increase over the December-March 8 average.

That upswing came to an abrupt halt on March 24 after Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency order to close recreational stores in response to the pandemic.

Some of the same factors that have bolstered Massachusetts’ adult-use marijuana program – dense population and proximity to other New England states – contributed to the governor’s decision to issue the order.

Massachusetts’ recreational retailers are not the only cannabis companies impacted by the pandemic.

Before the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent business closures, Marijuana Business Daily estimated 2020 sales in Massachusetts would be in the range of $575 million to $700 million.

It is unclear how this estimate will be adjusted without knowing when businesses will be allowed to open or how consumers will respond.

Retailers in states where adult-use marijuana businesses have been deemed essential are struggling with erratic and shifting demand.

MJBizDaily surveyed business experts on strategies to weather the coronavirus storm.

“Businesses need to take a hard look at business plans in conjunction with financial data and current operations to assess short-term liquidity needs, which will be the best guide to navigating through this volatile environment,” said Francisco Colon, a partner with California-based accounting firm MGO.

Experts recommend starting by identifying removable costs such as travel, hiring and discretionary spending.

Other advice on navigating the new normal include:

  • Understanding cash flow.
  • Optimizing costs and revenue.
  • Communicating with partners – including customers.

Maggie Cowee can be reached at [email protected]

Marijuana Business Daily’s new free report, “Crisis Management in Cannabis,” can be downloaded here.

3 comments on “Chart: Forced store closures hit Massachusetts marijuana retailers to the tune of $2 million per day
  1. Pat on

    Yes. Just like every other deemed non-essential business,recreational pot sales are going to suffer just as much as anyone else in the same category. What makes recreational pot so much more important than say, Salvation Army Thrift stores that have closed their doors during the pandemic? Don’t they provide much, much needed essentials ( at very low cost ) clothing, bedding, furniture, cooking utensils and a myriad of other items that are considered essential under ANY circumstance; esp when people are out of work AND money and need to make do with what money they have left now. Yet, there is so much concern being expressed at how much money is being lost at the front end ( preventative practices ); yet, no one discusses the potential opportunity costs of not taking these measures. Yeah… MA. might be out $2milday in rec. sales. But, how much more could the downside be if these measures weren’t taken now, by responsible governmental leaders?? Inconvenient truth, isn’t it? This country’s priorities are completely out of wack.

    • Spencer Kalker on

      While I respect your opinion, one major difference there is no state or federal help for these businesses. No banking, no funding, nothing. Beyond that the majority of Adult use cannabis users use the product as medicine. Veterans do not get medical cards as it will impact their federal veterans programs. In the state law cannabis was and is supposed to be treated as alcohol. Out of State sales can be stopped by not allowing them. I am all for “Covid” smart practices. Cannabis Stores will and do a lot better with social distancing and health concerns than any liquor store I have been in.

  2. Pat on

    There are many businesses that are much more essential than that of recreational cannabis that also don’t get the same help from state’s/feds. Give me a reputable source that proves your idea that the majority of adult use is medical. Then you’ll get my attention. I hear you on vets. I’m a vet and a nurse. I get it. Weed should not be treated ( and it’s not viewed in the same category as alcohol by the feds and many states ) as alcohol as weed doesn’t kill or sicken people anywhere near that of alcohol. The feds are increasingly behind the eight ball on this issue, and so many other issues that often fall into the most relevant/important to the common man. The feds have traditionally not given a crap nor lived up to their promises when it comes to veteran/s health care. If it’s happening now, it’s just a blip.

    Unfortunately, vets make up a very small percentage of the population. So, they’re going to left depending on each other/friends/family members for their MMJ needs during this time of Covid-19. Tragic. There are many vets organizations nationwide that give the stuff out free to their own ( I do it ). The federal govt. ( the top dogs ) on both sides of the isle have sat on the sidelines on this issue for almost 100 yrs now; even when weed was proven efficacious by the medical community for decades. Then, that group got pushed “out of their lane” ( to use a law enforcement catch phrase ) by law enforcement unions ( and big pharma ) and called it their own because they wanted to ( unjustifiably ) control it. Why? So they could make lots of money for those two special interests. And, it took the congress to go along with it then…and now. They’re ( Congress ) getting paid. Who loses? The entire country minus this fraction of 1% that makes the rest of the country miserable as a result. How much longer/evidence do the feds need to figure this one out? They know the correct answer to this and for sooo many other issues of critical importance to us. They ( the Congress/Senate ) are impeders of the common man in the vast majority of instances. Beholders of the special interests. How much do they get done that benefits you/me over a given period of time with all of those tax dollars? Just get in a 4×4 F-450 and go around the P.O.S. It’s what most people are going to find themselves having to do. Especially now. A $1200.00 check is going to cover what again?

    But, I still hold with the idea the recreational weed is non-essential. Have it delivered somehow. This is currently about the “WE” and not the “ME.” We are having a “we too moment” that isn’t getting anywhere the attention that the “me too movement” got in so many people’s minds In this country.

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