D.C. medical cannabis market slumps as February sales hit four-year low


D.C. patient expirations outpace new registrations as medical sales continue decline

The District of Columbia’s medical cannabis market is facing a period of decline, with February dispensary sales reaching their lowest point in four years. This trend comes alongside a drop in the number of patients served and an expiration of nearly 1,850 patient certifications in the next three months.

According to newly released data from the District of Columbia’s Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA), dispensary sales in February fell significantly compared to both last year and the year before. This decline comes despite the cultivation and manufacturing sectors maintaining relatively steady sales figures.

The report reveals that a little under 9,500 patients were served in February, a 500-patient decrease from last month. The upcoming expiration of nearly 1,850 patient certifications within the next quarter could further erode the 25,228 currently registered patients in D.C.

While overall sales are down, the D.C. market is witnessing a shift in product preferences. Sales of flower bud have steadily dropped for the past five months, with February sales reaching a new low of only 346 pounds. But vape cartridge sales have seen a significant increase, more than doubling in volume since January.

Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina remain the top states for out-of-state patient registrations. But Out-of-state patient registrations continue to decline. Sales have not recovered in the D.C. market since Maryland’s adult-use market launch last summer.

February 2024 Highlights

  • Straight cannabis bud sales (346lbs in February) fell again for the fifth month straight.
  • Two inspections were conducted across dispensaries and cultivation centers with no violations found.
  • February 2024 cultivation and manufacturing sales were about the same as 2023.
  • Dispensary sales dropped more than 20% compared to the same month last year.
  • The top state for temporary patient registrations was Virginia followed by Maryland than North Carolina.
  • 362 vape cartridges were sold more than double the amount last month.
  • 2,820 pounds of cannabis waste was destroyed in February.
  • Almost 1,850 patient registrations are set to expire by the end of May.


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