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420 with CNW — Massachusetts Reaches $1-Billion Milestone in Marijuana Sales

Despite the life-changing events of 2020, the U.S. cannabis industry has remained relatively stable. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, several industries essentially shut down while others limped on with ever-dwindling revenues, resulting in the worst financial crisis the United States has seen since the Great Depression. One of the few industries deemed “essential,” the relatively young marijuana industry continued operating in spite of the lockdown orders and consistently broke sales records month over month.

Cannabis sales in Massachusetts have officially surpassed $1 billion since the recreational cannabis market was launched two years ago on Nov. 20, 2018, says the state Cannabis Control Commission. This is despite the fact that Gov. Charlie Baker temporarily shut down the state’s recreational cannabis industry back in March for a couple of months to prevent out-of-state shoppers from coming into the state. Many pushed the theory that the marijuana industry is “recession proof,” and this year the sector has more than proved its resilience, bringing in millions of dollars of much-needed revenue as state coffers ran low.

As of Oct. 30, more than $1 billion in cannabis sales had been logged by 80 cannabis retailers, reports the state seed-to-sale tracking system. According to Shaleen Title, a commissioner on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control board (CCC), cannabis has been a significant source of revenue for both state and local governments in the midst of COVID-19. She notes that while several other states have dedicated a portion of cannabis tax revenue to social equity programs for those most harmed by the war on drugs, Massachusetts has not.

From November 2018 to November 2019, retailers sold $393.7 million worth of cannabis products, closing the year with $444.9 million in gross sales. And from January of this year, retailers have reported $539 million in gross sales. The increase in sales can be partly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, which increased demand, and the measures put in place by authorities to keep the market running safely, such as curbside service and social-distancing requirements.

The state received roughly $30 million in sales tax in the fiscal year ending July 1, with around $15 million going to towns and cities with retail cannabis establishments. In the town of Uxbridge, for instance, cannabis businesses have brought in around $400,000 in taxes. On the East Coast, Leicester received a whopping $885,048 in local option sales tax.

Massive innovation has resulted from legalizing cannabis at the state level. Companies such as The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) have introduced premium flavored and alkaline water on the market, in addition to topical and edible products infused with cannabidiol.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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