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Adult-Use Retail Cannabis Sales Continue to Set Records

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The retail sales of cannabis products are surging in both the United States and Canada.

Commenting on the trends, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The dramatic rise in retail [cannabis] sales is likely not so much a reflection of increased consumer demand, but of consumers shifting from the illicit market to the above-ground legal marketplace. As these legal market continues to mature, consumers are going to continue gravitate toward it and away from the underground marketplace.”

Canadian retailers sold a historic quantity of [cannabis] and [cannabis]-related products in the month of June, according to sales data compiled by Statistics Canada. Retailers sold just over $201 million dollars of product in June, the highest monthly total ever reported. June’s total marked an eight percent increase in sales over the prior monthly record set in May.

Adult-use [cannabis] sales began in Canada in October 2018.

Sales trends are similar in much of the United States. In recent months, sales data of adult-use cannabis products in several states, including CaliforniaColoradoIllinois, and Oregon, have reached record highs. According to a recent economic analysis of 24 state-legal cannabis markets by New Frontier Data, “One unanticipated effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the growth acceleration of legal cannabis markets (and erosion of the illicit markets) in those states which have activated both medical and adult-use sales.”


NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of [cannabis] by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use [cannabis] responsibly are no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for [cannabis]-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.

Find out more at and read our Fact Sheets on the most common misconceptions and myths regarding reform efforts around the country


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