New York medical cannabis sales are up but remain slow

New York’s five medical marijuana businesses generated only $16.6 million in gross sales between April 2016 and August 2017, but sales and patient numbers are improving.

From April 2016 through March 2017, the companies generated sales of $8.4 million – about $700,000 per month – according to analyses by the USA Today Network.

Sales improved dramatically in the next five months – April-August 2017 – hitting $8.2 million in sales, or about $1.64 million per month, according to the report. But that still means each MMJ company brought in only $328,000 per month.

The authors of the analyses warned that the improvement in sales was no guarantee the state’s MMJ program had become sustainable.

For example, the USA Today Network study found that the companies combined for about $2 million in sales in August. If patients spent an average of $200 per month, that means there would have been about 10,000 active patients, which is less than a third of the 31,860 registered through Oct. 3.

New York’s original five businesses are each allowed to have four dispensaries. But the market will become more competitive once five new companies that have been awarded licenses – and are also allowed four dispensaries – go online.