As adult-use prices plummet in Massachusetts, medical sales slump

Six years after Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana, the state’s cannabis industry is bigger than ever, with cumulative recreational sales soaring toward $4 billion and more than 225 retailers now open in communities from Provincetown to Pittsfield.

That maturation is good news for consumers, who are finally seeing greater selection and lower prices after years of paying some of the highest prices in the country for legal weed that was often of mediocre quality.

But increasing competition and supply are also starting to cause measurable headwinds for marijuana operators. For one thing, the plummeting price of recreational marijuana is eating into profits, worrying business owners who say their cannabis facilities run on surprisingly thin margins thanks to high upfront costs and exorbitant federal taxes.

At the same time, the medical side of the business is slumping, as some shoppers calculate the cost of obtaining a card is no longer worth the savings from not having to pay taxes on recreational pot. That’s a reversal from the explosion in medical sales at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when recreational pot stores were among the businesses deemed nonessential by the state and had to shut for nearly two months.


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