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Colorado Marijuana Sales Booming More Than Expected

A 32-page report issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division estimates that 130 metric tons of marijuana will be consumed in the Rocky Mountain State in 2014. The market study found total marijuana demand to be much larger than previously estimated; Colorado residents are consuming 121.4 metric tons of medical or retail marijuana yearly, and visitors to the state account for another 8.9 metric tons. By way of comparison, that is the equivalent of two M1 Abrams tanks.

Tourists account for 90 percent of retail marijuana sales in heavily visited mountain communities, where combined sales more than doubled after legalization took effect in January 2014. In the metro area, out-of-state visitors account for 44 percent of sales. The report states that the demand for marijuana in Colorado is satisfied through licensed retail or medical shops, and medical marijuana caregivers, with black-market vendors continuing to supply the remaining demand.

About one in 10 Colorado adults consume marijuana every month, and four percent of the state population reported consuming pot during the past year. The study found demand for medical marijuana has remained steady, with few consumers switching from medical to retail sales, perhaps due to a desire to avoid paying taxes, or perhaps because they live in jurisdictions that only allow medical sales.

 

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