Rhode Island marijuana sales top $100M in Year One of recreational retail

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Combined adult-use and medical marijuana sales in Rhode Island totaled $105 million in the year since recreational retail sales launched in December 2022.

The yearlong retail sales total includes $69.8 million in adult-use sales and $35.1 million in medical marijuana transactions, according to data published by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR).

The adult-use total exceeds the $50 million in sales projected by the 2023 MJBiz Factbook for the first year of recreational retail.

November marijuana sales totaled $9.2 million, including $6.9 million in adult-use sales and $2.3 in MMJ sales.

Combined monthly sales total declined 2.5% from October and peaked at $9.7 million in August.

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee praised the “careful execution that defined our entry into this industry” in a statement published by the Rhode Island Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).

“This success represents growing opportunity for our state’s economy but also for the nearly 70 licensed cultivators, processors, and manufacturers in the State of Rhode Island which we know are integral to our local cannabis supply chain,” McKee added.

The latest monthly sales figures cap off a year of expansion for Rhode Island’s new adult-use industry, which launched Dec. 1, 2022.

However, the state’s early cannabis sales growth might well have been stymied by a shortage of licensed retailers.

Rhode Island lawmakers permitted marijuana advertising this year, although with restrictions.

“The change is expected to help retailers compete effectively in the growing market,” the CCC said.

Meanwhile, Rhode Island’s MMJ registered patient count shrank significantly after the recreational sales launch, following a pattern typical in other states that launch adult-use after medical markets.

Rhode Island had roughly 10,000 registered MMJ patients this past November, compared with 15,000 in December 2022, according to the DBR.