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Colorado Demand for Marijuana in first 6 months Twice What Was Expected | FiveThirtyEight

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Six months into marijuana legalization, the Colorado Department of Revenue has issued a new report outlining findings about the size of the newly legal market:

It turns out that the demand for marijuana far exceeds earlier estimates; according to the report, statewide demand is at a whopping 121.4 tons per year. That’s 31 percent higher than a previous Department of Revenue estimate and 89 percent higher than an oft-cited study by the Colorado Futures Center. And while the vast majority of the increase is the result of resident smokers consuming more than expected, the growth of the retail market — particularly among tourists — is a promising sign for the success of legalization.

Colorado makes substantially more money from taxes on recreational marijuana than medical marijuana. So the success of recreational legalization can be measured by the state’s ability to make loads of money from pot taxes. For advocates, Colorado (so far) appears to be a first victory and may become proof of concept.

If Colorado is able to rake in a substantial amount of tax revenue, legalization advocates’ pitches to legislatures in Oregon, Massachusetts and Alaska become that much easier. And while most of the overall growth in the market size is due to residents — probably medical customers — being heavier smokers than anticipated, the report found that a substantial slice of the retail growth is due to tourism.

Next up: Oregon, Massachusetts, and Alaska legalizing marijuana recreationally.

Watch for them to become tourist destinations in the coming years, too.

Massachusetts may end up being the supplier for the northeast for a while.

Also note that recreational marijuana is a lot more expensive than medical marijuana in Colorado:

Colorado Marijuana Report Shows Legalization May Avoid a Big Potential Problem FiveThirtyEight

This has caused more people to keep (and apply for!) medical marijuana cards in Colorado.

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