I-News: Marijuana by the numbers in Colorado
Rocky Mountain PBS I-News
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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