New Hampshire’s four fledgling medical marijuana dispensaries racked up a combined $740,000 in sales during their first few months of operation last year, indicating that the companies have a long way to go before breaking even.
The figures, which are included in a new report by the state’s health department, cover sales from the time each dispensary opened last year through Sept. 15. The report also lists how much money each company raised and how much it spent by that date as well.
The sales haul was dwarfed by the $10 million the companies collectively spent to get their dispensaries up and running.
A state health official acknowledged that startup costs for dispensaries in the state are “huge” but said regulators are not concerned about the long-term viability of the companies.
The report found that Sanctuary Alternative Treatment Center, which became the first dispensary in the state to go online when it opened April 30, recorded almost $313,000 in sales through Sept. 15 but had more than $1.7 million in startup and initial operating expenditures.
The two dispensaries owned by Temescal Wellness, which both opened in the first half of May 2016, generated more than $378,000 in combined sales with an outlay of more than $3.9 million in expenses.
The youngest dispensary, Prime Alternative Treatment Center, which opened Aug. 11, recorded about $48,000 in sales and more than $4.3 million in expenditures.
Under New Hampshire’s MMJ program, the state’s dispensary operators must be run as nonprofits.
Through Dec. 19, there were 2,089 registered medical cannabis patients, according to the report. Of those, 1,148 patients received their recommendations from 463 doctors, while 641 patients received their recommendations from 97 registered nurses.
The state said there doesn’t appear to be a slowdown in the patient growth and that “new applications are a steady stream.”
According to the report, the most common recommendations from dispensary owners for improving the program include:
- Speeding up the patient certification process.
- Raising or removing plant counts.
- Adding new medical qualifying conditions.
- Allowing dispensaries to transport cannabis between cultivation sites and storefronts.