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Five charts explain Colorado's first year of legalized recreational weed

Stashed in: Marijuana, Colorado, cheech and chong dream on

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sounds like it's time to get with the program, neighbors!

Overall, legalization has worked out pretty well. Crime is down, tax revenues are up, and everyone is happy (well, except for neighboring states grumbling about drug trafficking). Here are five charts showing how the program has fared. And yes, these charts look way cooler under a blacklight.

5 Charts Explaining Colorado's First Year of Legal Weed | WIRED

From January to December, cultivation of recreational plants exploded, from around 25,000 registered plants to over 200,000. Over the same time period, the number of recreational weed storefronts grew from 156 to 306. Overall, this added up to $313 million dollars in sales. Combined with medicinal sales, marijuana was a $700 million dollar industry.

well, it's not really CRIME, per se.  it's just people with marijuana in their cars.

Vehicular Hemp would make a great band name.

"mile high club" would definitely have to be one of their songs!

Haha, added:

And technically it IS still a crime in Nebraska. They're still putting people in jail. :(

the crime thing is a bummer.  i doubt there is a lot of violent crime in nebraska... stoners will have to do!

I wonder if legal marijuana would reduce Nebraska's meth problem.

i wonder if nebraska is wondering the same thing.

Doesn't seem like they're in any hurry to find out. 

Retail sales are clearly catching up to medicinal sales. But there’s still a huge gap in the volume of bud sold in each sector. Medicinal dispensaries sold nearly three times the amount of bud: 109,600 pounds, compared to the nearly 37,000 pounds sold to recreational buyers.

But will recreational sales will eclipse prescription-grade point of sales? Probably not. Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, says “Price pressures are always going to be a significant factor.” Medical marijuana is cheaper because it isn’t taxed nearly as heavily as recreational weed. At one Denver dispensary that sells both medicinal and recreational buds, an 1/8th of Pre-89 Bubba Kush costs $37. A baggie of the same stuff from the recreational half of the store is over $8 more, at $45. And when getting a medicinal “red card” only costs $15, the math becomes pretty clear. Also in play, says West, is that “people have established relationships with their medical dispensaries.” Overall, medicinal sales account for 74 percent of all the weed sold legally in the state.

If those numbers are really going to even out, it’s probably going to take some restructuring of the tax code, to make recreational reefer more competitive with the prescription-grade pot. And that’s not out of the question. The combined 2014 tax revenue for all pot was $63 million dollars. Medicinal sales counted for less than a third of that.

5 Charts Explaining Colorado's First Year of Legal Weed | WIRED

That's fascinating that even though it's all legal there's still an advantage to buying medicinally.