Patrons move through a line inside Fine Fettle Dispensary in Willimantic Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

Adult-use cannabis sales increased in Connecticut for the sixth consecutive month in July, topping $13 million even as medical marijuana sales declined, according to a monthly update from the Department of Consumer Protection. 

At $13 million, commercial sales grew modestly in July, up from $12.54 million in June. However, that growth was accompanied by a decrease in sales of medical marijuana which fell from roughly $11.36 million to $10.6 million over the same period. 

Collectively, overall cannabis sales declined slightly by around $279,000 in July. 

July marked the third straight month in which sales in the new commercial market outpaced Connecticut’s long standing medical marijuana program. 

For the first time, average product prices in the two markets were roughly equal in July. The average price of a product on Connecticut’s commercial market stood at $39.92 while medical consumers spent an average of $39.66 per product, according to the DCP. 

Although the average product prices were similar, commercial consumers pay taxes not required by medical patients including the state sales tax, a municipal tax and a cannabis tax, which scales with the level of THC in the product. 

The cost of participating in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program dropped on another front on July 1, when the state discontinued an annual $100 registration fee for patients and a $25 fee on participating health care providers. Those fees were scrapped through legislation last year. 

In a press release, Consumer Protection Commissioner Bryan Cafferelli said the change would make the program more affordable and accessible to patients. 

“Patients in the medical program have access to a broader range of products and resources than adult-use cannabis consumers, such as access to a pharmacist,” Cafferelli said in June. “The average price for medical marijuana products remains lower than adult-use products, and there is no tax on medical products, which also helps keep costs lower for people who rely on this medicine.”

As of Thursday, the department was continuing to impose a limit of ¼ ounce per commercial transaction under a policy designed to ensure adequate cannabis supply for both markets. Medical patients are not limited by a transaction cap and can purchase up to 5 ounces each month.