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CONCENTRATED GROWTH

Vapes and concentrates helped Colorado weed sales reach a record high

TELLURIDE, CO - JULY 7, 2014: A T-shirt in a souvenir shop window display in Telluride, Colorado, make a reference to the state's legal sale and use of recreational marijuana. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Getty Images/Robert Alexander
  • Jenni Avins
By Jenni Avins

senior lifestyle correspondent

Colorado had its biggest year yet for legal cannabis sales in 2019: total revenue topped $1.74 billion, according to data from the Colorado Department of Revenue.

That figure—13% higher than the previous year’s—was good news for the industry, after sales slowed to just 2.5% growth between 2017 and 2018.

BDS Analytics managing director Tom Adams told CNN Business the revenue plateau could be attributed to cheaper flower, as cannabis buds are known within the industry. While old-fashioned flower still accounts for nearly half of the cannabis market in Colorado (the first US state to commercialize adult recreational use, in 2014) pricier products make up the fastest-growing sector of the market. Most notably, concentrates—which include dabs, tinctures, and vapes—have doubled their market share over the last five years.

Last year’s rash of vape-related illnesses appears to have slightly slowed sales in the lucrative category. According to data from Cowen and Company, vapes’ market share in the state fell from 18% to 15% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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