Arizona’s marijuana market saw big gains in 2018

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The state saw a 42% increase in medical marijuana sales last year

Arizona’s medical marijuana industry proved to be very successful last year. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), medical marijuana sales increased 42% year-on-year and saw 61 tons of marijuana purchased by Arizonians who possess medical marijuana cards. The amount of money taken in by the industry was not made available by the ADHS.

Absent the official tally by the department, it is only possible to make some rough calculations on the money that dispensaries would have collected. Based on Phoenix-area dispensary prices, and an average of $3,300 a pound, the state’s dispensaries more than likely collected over $400 million in revenue, which excludes the sale of any peripheral products, such as pipes and other non-drug merchandise. Other reports indicate that the per-pound price could be as much as $4,800.

From 2017 to 2018, the number of medical marijuana patients in the state increased by 22%, reaching over 186,000 by the time December rolled around. Those patients must pay a fee of $150 to Arizona and between $100 to $200 to a licensed physician in order to receive their marijuana certification.

According to a lobbyist for the Arizona Dispensaries Association, Kevin DeMenna, “Two-hundred thousand patients at $300 an experience (to visit a doctor and pay the state fee) to be able to access this product legally, that tells you a great deal. That is a high financial threshold, and it takes time to get this medical certification.”

The fastest growing segments of the marijuana industry in the state are marijuana concentrates and edibles. Combined, they saw a 55% increase year-over-year, compared to just a 40% increase for dried bud.