Colorado puts annual marijuana demand at 130 tonnes

DENVER Wed Jul 9, 2014 9:59pm EDT

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DENVER (Reuters) - Total marijuana demand in Colorado, where the nation's first recreational pot shops opened in January, is estimated at 130 tonnes this year, a study for the state's revenue authority said on Wednesday.

A day after Washington became only the second state to allow recreational sales of the drug to adults, the report said the projected demand in Colorado was much higher than anticipated.

More than 90 percent of it came from residents, while out-of-state visitors accounted for only about 9 tonnes.

"The primary difference is caused by much heavier dosage amounts consumed by the state's 'heavy user' population – those who consume marijuana on a daily basis," said the report, prepared for the Colorado Department of Revenue.

It said tax figures showed that the retail supply of marijuana was growing in the state, while supply via medical

marijuana dispensaries had remained relatively constant.

"The retail demand is derived primarily from out-of-state visitors and from consumers who previously purchased from the Colorado black and gray markets," the report said.

And it estimated that out-of-state visitors currently accounted for about 44 percent of retail sales in the Denver metro area, compared with about 90 percent in mountain resorts.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (7)
REnninga wrote:
130 tonnes of weed (130,000 kilos), consumed annually in one state of moderate population!

This is going to be an interesting social experiment. I wonder what measures and safeguards will be in place by the state for the increase in DUI/DWI violations, and for preventing heavy machinery operators, healthcare workers, emergency first responders, and employees in other risky professions from working high?

I suspect the statistical data collected by the state year-over-year (pre-legalization / post legalization) may be shocking to the voters. A “What have we done?” moment. I’m afraid a lot of people are going to die, due to a dramatic increase in intoxication on the state’s roads, and in the workplace.

Time will tell.

PS. Does anyone know if increased altitude (reduced oxygen density) increases the relative high of smoking marijuana, vs. lower elevation?
I see that the mean elevation of Colorado, “the Rocky Mountain State”, is 6,800 feet above sea level.

Jul 10, 2014 1:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Think of it this way, marijuana is the new casino for state revenue.

Jul 10, 2014 3:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gibbers wrote:
Regarding your concern about people working, driving or whatever it may be while stoned, I would place the estimate at around the same if not less than that of alcohol. Whereas you have alcoholics, there is no such thing as a potoholic as marijuana is not addictive (although some might feel that they NEED it, there are no addictive qualities). To me, the smell of bud is much more pungent and noticeable as opposed to Kahlua in coffee (or vodka in sprite, whisky in coke, etc). From personal experience, I drove stoned exactly once in my lifetime while I was a young buck and it was the most terrifying experience I had. Most might try it once but after that, probably not again.

To address your PS note, I don’t believe that it will increase the relative high as our bodies acclimate to the increase/decrease in oxygen. After three months in Afghanistan as compared to Tennessee (4k difference if I remember correctly from where I was stationed), I was able to run just as well as I was before arriving in country. Not scientific evidence sure, but something to consider.

That’s a lot of tax revenue though. In 2011, San Jose taxed medical marijuana at 7% and generated ~3.5 million. Imagine what that figure would be if it were open to the general population?

Jul 10, 2014 6:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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