I-News: Marijuana by the numbers in Colorado | PostIndependent.com
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I-News: Marijuana by the numbers in Colorado

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch and Katie Kuntz
Rocky Mountain PBS I-News
Seventy-one percent of Colorado’s 321 jurisdictions ban all medical or retail marijuana dispensaries, according to Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. Mesa County, Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade all do not allow sales of recreational marijuana. Palisade offers one medical marijuana shop.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto |

Most Coloradans probably know that 4-20 — April 20 — has become the day for celebrating marijuana. Although the origin is still debated, four-twenty is probably the most popular numeric reference to pot. Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has compiled a list of less well-known figures, a paint by the numbers picture of cannabis in Colorado.

1. 71 percent

Recreational marijuana has been legal under state law for more than a year. But you can’t sell or legally buy cannabis in much of the state. Seventy-one percent of the state’s 321 jurisdictions ban all medical or retail marijuana dispensaries, according to Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

2. 698

There are 698 storefronts you can walk into to buy medical or retail marijuana as of this April 20, more than triple the number Starbucks (216) in the state.

3. $228

In the Denver Metro Area, consumers can expect to pay around $228 dollars for an ounce of pot, according to a survey by the Colorado Pot Guide.

4. $90 million

Canna-business has generated $90 million in taxes, licenses and fees for the state since fiscal year 2013. That’s also almost as much money as Colorado taxpayers should expect next year in refunds ($94 million).

5. 15,992

The cannabis industry has also created new jobs. There were 15,992 people licensed to work in the industry in February 2015. That’s about the same as the number of high school teachers in Colorado.

6. $413,500

Last year the Marijuana Enforcement Division fined pot shops and producers $413,500 for violating regulations, including keeping workers licensed, staying within the legal limit of how much pot they can keep on hand and disposing of cannabis waste properly

7. 800

Then there are medical patients who don’t go to licensed stores, but instead turn to caregivers, legal under Colorado law. Patients must still register with the state and get certified by a doctor. So far about 800 of the state’s 13,400 active physicians have signed medical marijuana cards for 114,290 patients.

8. $15

It costs $15 to obtain a medical marijuana card this year. In 2007, it cost $110.

9. 4.8 million

In the first year of legalization in Colorado, consumers bought 4.8 million units of edible cannabis products, such as cookies or chocolates infused with THC.

10. 148,238

Consumers bought 148,238 pounds of marijuana in Colorado last year — or more than 74 tons. According to our research, that’s heavy — weighing as much as about 24 Chevy Suburbans or eight Tyrannosaurus Rexes.

SOURCES

Colorado Department of Revenue, Marijuana Enforcement Division Annual Report (Feb. 27, 2015):https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/2014%20MED%20Annual%20Report_1.pdf

Medical Marijuana Registry Program Update (Feb. 28, 2015): https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/CHED_MMR_StatisticsReport_0215.pdf

Starbucks Investor Relations, Supplemental Financial Data:http://investor.starbucks.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=99518&p=irol-financialhighlights

Kaiser Family Foundation, State Health Facts: http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-active-physicians/

Marijuana Enforcement Division’s report on fines, suspensions and revocations of marijuana industry licenses during 2014: http://www.leg.state.co.us/library/reports.nsf/xsp/.ibmmodres/domino/OpenAttachment/library/reports.nsf/E9BF862A3853A743872579DD007B00F6/AttachReport/January%202015report.pdf

Department of Revenue report on Marijuana Taxes, Licenses, and Fees Transfers and Distribution: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/0215%20Marijuana%20Tax%2C%20License%2C%20and%20Fees%20Report.pdf

Study estimating T-Rex weight: http://www.livescience.com/16524-rex-dinosaur-weighed.html

Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates of number of secondary school teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_co.htm#39-0000

Colorado Pot Guide map of counties where marijuana is not allowed: https://www.coloradopotguide.com/where-to-buy-marijuana/

The Free Press brings you this report in partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS I-News. Learn more at rmpbs.org/news. Contact Katie Kuntz at katiekuntz@rmpbs.org.


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