Colorado residents and visitors are consuming marijuana by the ton, according to a first-ever market demand study released by state regulators on Wednesday.
The Colorado Department of Revenue finds that demand for marijuana amounts to about 130 metric tons per year. That’s more than 280,000 pounds.
The figures include both recreational and medical marijuana. The study estimates that the demand for marijuana in Colorado by the state’s residents is 121.4 metric tons per year and 8.9 metric tons per year for visitors to the State of Colorado.
The state used a combination of sales tax receipt information, point-of-sale statistics and data from county tourist offices to calculate visitor demand.
This allowed researchers to estimate that recreational purchases by visitors represent about 44 percent of metro area sales and about 90 percent of sales in “heavily-visited mountain communities.”
The study also notes that efforts to measure Colorado’s market size have become more complicated as demand for concentrates and edible products increase.
“Currently, there are no weight-equivalent conversions between these product types and dry weight of marijuana flower. On the other hand, our ability to measure medical and retail volumes sold, including edibles and concentrates, is improving as the State Marijuana Inventory Tracking System accumulates more data. “
Regulators plan to issue a revised report during the first quarter of 2015. The agency says the follow-up report is expected to provide “improved clarity related to edibles and concentrates, as additional information becomes available.”