We can opine anecdotally on how legal marijuana sales changed Colorado in 2014, and we’ve done just that recently — read my “year in the life of the world’s first marijuana editor” essay here.
But since we’re journalists we also track down the hard numbers that show legal marijuana’s definitive impact on the state in this first year of recreational pot sales. And a glance at the numbers, statistics and calculations below will give you a very clear picture of what legal, regulated, first-of-its-kind marijuana looks like in the Rocky Mountains.
1. 130.3 metric tons
That’s Colorado’s annual demand for marijuana — equal to 36.8 million “eighths” of cannabis flower.
Makes you wonder how many Coloradans use cannabis regularly …
That’s the number of adults who are 21 and older using marijuana regularly (at least once a month), and it’s about 9 percent of the state’s population.
And what about those using more often than that …
3. 23 percent
That’s the amount of Colorado’s user population that consumes cannabis near daily.
But what about the out-of-state tourists visiting Colorado and purchasing legal weed …
4. 90 percent
That’s the amount of recreational pot sales out-of-state tourists are responsible for at shops in mountain resort communities.
But how much of Colorado’s annual demand are these tourists actually buying …
5. 7 percent
That’s the amount of Colorado’s annual pot demand purchased by out-of-state tourists.
But has Colorado pot gotten more or less expensive since the sales first began on Jan. 1 …
6. -9 percent
That’s the price drop on a recreational eighth of marijuana flower at a dozen prominent Colorado pot shops from January 2014 ($53.88) to December 2014 ($48.95).
But how much did Colorado sell in recreational cannabis …
That’s the state’s total recreational marijuana sales, as counted from January to October (November and December data isn’t yet available from the Colorado Department of Revenue).
And what about total medical sales …
That’s Colorado’s total medical marijuana sales, also from January to October. (Yep, that’s $573,526,872.62 in 10 months for both recreational and medical pot sales in Colorado.)
And what are the majority of the state’s medical marijuana patients claiming as their need for medicinal pot …
That’s the number of medical marijuana patients reporting “severe pain” as their condition for a license — or 94 percent of the state’s total patients.
So what does all of this mean for the taxes raised by the sale of legal marijuana in Colorado …
10. $60.1 million
That’s the amount Colorado has brought in via taxes, licenses and fees on recreational and medical marijuana, from January to October.
And what about the cannabis-infused edibles, the cookies and gummies and brownies that proved to be surprisingly popular in this first year of recreational sales …
11: 10 milligrams of THC
That’s the state-standard single-serving size for marijuana edibles, with 100 milligrams maximum allowed in an individually packaged product being sold recreationally.
And did these edibles end up making for a crazy Halloween, as some thought they would …
Thats’ the number of reports of THC-laced candy given to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, regardless of widespread concern that legal marijuana would lead to pot-laced candies in children’s Halloween hauls.