Steamboat marijuana sales on track to exceed $10M in 2017; no plateau in sight

Marijuana is examined with a magnifier by patient Kip Strean.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs marijuana sales are still on track to surpass $10 million this year, but for the first time there have been two consecutive months that have only shown single-digit increases over the previous year.

Sales were up 9 percent in August and 5 percent in September over the same months in 2016.

Steamboat marijuana store owners believe sales will eventually stabilize. The question is when will it happen?

“We’re going to see a plateau at some point,” Rocky Mountain Remedies co-owner Kevin Fisher said.

So far this year, marijuana sales at Steamboat’s three businesses are up 14 percent over 2016 with a total of $9,383,275. In 2016, total sales were up 18 percent over 2015.

“We are not as far up as we were in 2016,” city of Steamboat Springs Finance Director Kim Weber said. “I would be hesitant to say that we’re stabilizing. The last couple months have been a little more stable.”

The city collects 4 percent of sales in the form of sales tax revenue. So far this year, marijuana sales have added $375,331 to city coffers.

In March, Steamboat saw record marijuana sales of $1,186,350. That was the first full month shops were allowed to extend their hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Fisher said his business has been hurt this summer and fall by construction at Elk River Road and Lincoln Avenue.

“For the second time in four years, we’ve had construction at out core intersection,” Fisher said. “It was disappointing to see that construction there.”

He said his sales have been flat or slightly down because the traffic and construction deterred some customers.

Colorado benefited financially by becoming the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales, but there is going to be more competition as other states have legalized it.

California will begin selling marijuana for recreational use at the beginning of next year.

“The novelty of marijuana tourism is going to wear off a little bit with more states coming online,” Fisher said. “As more destination ski states come online with retail marijuana, I think that’s going to factor into the decision making for vacationers, both positive or negative.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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