May D.C. medical cannabis sales drop again


D.C.’s medical cannabis program sales slump again despite new dispensaries

D.C.’s medical cannabis program is experiencing a downturn in sales despite a promising start to spring and a patient increase. May 2024 marked the program’s lowest sales figures in the last four years for the same month, according to the monthly sales report released by the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration. 

Sales figures show a nearly 10% drop from April and a 16.7% decrease compared to May 2023. This comes amidst a period of expansion, with the number of operational dispensaries nearly doubling to ten. The program is anticipating the expiration of nearly 6,800 patient registrations by the end of August which eclipses the few hundred new patients registering a month.

The continued slump in sales raises concerns as the overall program sales have not increased in correlation with new retail locations opening. This means a little under $3 million in dispensary sales is now being split between 10 retail locations instead of the six that were open in February when sales were $2.5 million.

Cultivation and manufacturing sales dropped again after a large increase between March and April when the first new dispensaries opened. 

However, there are some bright spots.Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina continue to be the top out-of-state sources for new registrations, with Virginia showing the most significant growth.

The sales decline affected most product categories. Cannabis bud sales, a mainstay of the program, fell by 4.2% in May despite the increase in dispensaries. Concentrate sales, which had been on a three-month upswing, also dipped, reaching 480 grams sold. Shake sales saw the steepest decline, dropping by a third.

The lone bright spots were edibles, vapes, kief, and tinctures. Edibles sales rose slightly to 5,986 units, while vapes continued their significant rise, reaching 6,483 units sold – continuing an increase after sales quadrupled in April.

The District continues to struggle to maintain sales to support its medical expansion as Maryland’s adult use market continues to dominate. A Federal spending bill rider which blocked D.C.’s adult market setup was added back in shortly after it was removed for the first time in a decade this month.

May 2024 Highlights

  • Straight cannabis bud sales (367 lbs) dropped. 
  • Three inspections were conducted across dispensaries and cultivation centers with no violations found.
  • The top state for temporary patient registrations was Virginia followed by Maryland than North Carolina. 
  • All top 3  temporary registrations states (VA, MD, NC) saw a rise in patients.
  • 1,640 pounds of cannabis waste was destroyed in May. 
  • Over 6,787 patient registrations are set to expire by the end of August.  
  • The number of vapes sold continued to increase (6,483). 


Featured Business Member: