How Does Maryland's Cannabis Sales Surge Stack Up With Other State Markets? This Analyst Has The Scoop

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Maryland's recreational cannabis sales, which began in July 2023, surged impressively in just the first month, reaching $87.3 million.

According to analysis firm, Zuanic & Associates, this significant growth, although promising, falls slightly short of expectations given the state's strategic advantages like proximity to non-recreational border states and a well-equipped dispensary network.

With 102 dispensaries in operation and a robust medical market of 164,000 certified patients, Maryland's solid foundation bodes well for its cannabis industry's future trajectory.

“In July, total sales (rec+med) reached $87.3Mn in MD, in the first month of rec sales, which was 2x the level of med sales in Jun ($42.7Mn)”, analyst Pablo Zuanic from Zuanic & Associates wrote in a recent note. 

Meet Pablo Zuanic in person, and ask him yourself how he sees the evolution of the medical cannabis market, at the upcoming Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, which is returning to Chicago this Sept 27-28 for its 17th edition.

Size And Access Matter: Maryland's Cannabis Sales Driven By Its Compactness

The state's small size of 12.4k square miles and accessibility for out-of-state customers contribute to its sales performance. Comparatively, other states' recreational cannabis markets tell a varied story:

  • Missouri, which began recreational sales in February 2023, experienced a remarkable 3-fold increase in sales within 6 months, totaling $123.2 million. With a per capita spend of $192, likely boosted by cross-border sales, Missouri's larger land area of 70k square miles contributes to its success.
  • Connecticut's slower growth in its recreational market since January 2023 is attributed to limited store access. Despite doubling its sales to $23.6 million within 6 months, challenges in opening new stores and a small medical market are constraining factors.
  • Rhode Island, with just four stores selling recreational cannabis in its 1.2k square mile territory, achieved over 2 times the sales per capita compared to Connecticut.
  • New Jersey, with a more developed medical market, saw sales multiply by over 3 times in 1Q23, reaching $179.3 million. The presence of 23 recreational stores and 723 approved licenses suggests a potential for substantial growth.

Seasoned Markets' Rise: Massachusetts, Michigan and Illinois

In contrast, mature markets like Massachusetts, Michigan, and Illinois demonstrate sustained growth over the past 4-5 years, largely driven by increased store count and expanded product variety, while lower deflation drives out illicit market sales.

Illinois faces challenges from a slower store ramp-up and neighboring state competition, notably from Missouri.

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, the place where deals get done, is returning to Chicago this Sept 27-28 for its 17th edition. Get your tickets today before prices increase and secure a spot at the epicenter of cannabis investment and branding.


Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

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