Medical marijuana registry stats up again, but far below previous peak

Categories: Marijuana

As of the end of May, there were 98,910 red card-holding medical marijuana patients in the state according to MMJ registry numbers released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. That's up from the previous report, released in June. But despite a steady increase over the past six months, the sum still doesn't compare to the number of patients registered at this time last year.

In the months between July 2011 and November of 2011, the Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient Registry total dropped by more than 48,000 people, from 128,698 to 80,558.

The bleeding of patients stopped in December of that year, but the numbers have been slow to regain the lost ground. In the same amount of time that it took for the registry to lose more than 37 percent of it's total, it has only bounced back by 18,352. That includes the most recent boost over the April total of 96,709.

Why? Apparently, many patients simply are not returning to the registry.

The total number of new patient applications since the program began went up by 3,017 patients, to 180,925, between April and May. But the total increase in valid cards was only 2,101 patients. This implies that while the registry may have gained 3,017 new patients in one month, roughly 816 existing patients either didn't renew their cards, dropped off the registry voluntarily or were kicked off by the CDPHE.

This trend has been seen every month since November 2011 with the exception of February, when only 1,619 new patients were added to the registry but it grew by 4,522 people. So while the registry has added nearly 19,500 patients in the last six months, the tota. number of MMJ cards has only gone up by 18,352.

Other statistics for the registry remained mostly unchanged through May. Men still make up the majority of the registry and the average age for all patients is 42. The majority of patients live in the Denver metro area and severe pain is the most common reason for medical cannabis recommendations.

A majority (54 percent) of patients still designate someone else as their primary caregiver -- and those numbers do not include medical marijuana centers. A CDPHE spokesman said the department is compiling stats on patients who sign up with MMCs; we'll update this post when and if officials get back to us.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Hash ruling in Montana unlikely to fly in Colorado, attorney says" and "Marijuana: Could Los Angeles-style dispensary closures happen in Denver?"

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Working with patients every day allows great insights that go beyond the thinking of MMJIQ and the like.


Colorado is the King of marijuana reform, there is no doubt in most peoples mind that this is true. It is clearly time to vote YES on Amendment 64!  


I too work in the MMJ industry and I see patients ranging in age from 19 to 77 years of age with a multitude of problems ranging from the ever present chronic pain to the life threatening cancers and AIDS related issues. What all these patients have in common is the inconvenience of having to go to a doctor, pay a FEE there and then having to go to the post office (who enjoys that?) to pay another FEE to mail their government required FEE. Just to be allowed to use a relatively harmless substance that they didn't need a doctor or the government to tell them they needed/ had permission to use.


To vote YES on amendment 64 means to do away with these unnecessary hurdles and expensive red tape for our patients. A YES vote on 64 is a vote for patients rights, a vote for all adults rights to use a substance of their choosing for the purpose of their choosing. A YES vote on 64 will certainly send a signal to the federal government. But...


Did Coloradans Vote YES on amendment 20?  YES!  Was the federal government viciously opposed? YES! Did the Colorado legislature codify our industry in State law in direct violation of Federal laws and guidance? YES! Did the Feds do anything? ok, a little.. but is it still the most robust and well regulated marijuana industry in the world? YES! 


We as Coloradans, have a long history of defying federal authority. I believe we will do it again this fall and continue to do so as long as we need to. I am asking everyone to VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT 64! The rest of the country and possibly the world is watching, waiting to follow us as we lead them into a freer, SAFER future!




Working with patients every day allows great insights that go beyond statistics.


Numbers can be twisted for good or bad. However, a growing base is a good thing in any market.


Colorado is (no numbers required) now the leading medical marijuana market in America, and I would argue the world.


Colorado is the king of medical marijuana industry development in America: licensed, approved, regulated, taxed, and respected to a degree (but not accessible to big pharma!)


In many ways, medical marijuana has grown beyond numbers and digits - it has become in many communities in Colorado a part of accepted daily life.


That is revolutionary in America's modern history!


Each day I speak with patients that are coming here to purge themselves of hard addictive medicines given to them over the years.


I've met vets from as far back as the Korean War to the 21 year old suffering from MS, medical marijuana is becoming a part of life for many Americans.


I do offer a warning; as we've seen in California - medical marijuana expansion can go too far - too fast for some (the feds, the courts, and local authorities.)


My concern is that "Amendment 64 Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol" in Colorado could produce a very short lived victory (yea, we won! let's all smoke a bowl) to a wicked hangover that ends in a federal crackdown (see California) followed by local authorities voting to shut them all down (see California.)


Thus, the end of the king.  Game over.


I hope I'm wrong, but if I'm right - watch out center owners, watch out caregivers, Voting YES on 64 could actually produce a very harsh, prompt and devastating result - the end of ALL marijuana (recreational and medical) in Colorado.


I support legalization when the feds, the courts, and the industry are ready.


Now is NOT the time in Colorado. Center owners and patients are just now starting to find stability, affordability, and accessibility to America's most advance medical marijuana.


California was the queen of medical marijuana. Colorado is the king.


If this were a game of chess?  I'd suggest protecting your king.


Vote 'no' on Amendment 64 Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Hey Billy -- forget the meaningless "average" age, and ask the CDPHE for the more statistically relevant MEDIAN age.


Hint: it will be much lower than 42.



DonkeyHotay topcommenter

**** Boycott the Registry -- Grow your Own or use a Private Individual Caregiver! ****

DonkeyHotay topcommenter



**** Vote NO on Bogus, Deceptive, Dysfunctional A64! *****


 It does NOTHING positive for any real-world marijuana users or growers.



DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @MMJIQ = smarter than the average stoner


**** Vote NO on deceptive, ineffective A64!! ****

RobertChase topcommenter


It is interesting that you seem determined to resurrect the canard about patients being young, malingering males.  You are correct that the median age of patients is a more appropriate way to summarize the age of patients than is the average.  Since you seem concerned, why not call Ron Hyman and ask that patients' median age be substituted for their average age on the CDPHE's medical cannabis program statistics page?  Your assumption that the median age is "much lower than 42" may be incorrect, though I would also expect it to be somewhat lower.


The median and the average are both measures of central tendency.  You seem to be hoping, in effect, that the average age of forty-two reflects a highly skewed distribution of use -- that would for example be the average age of patients were 39% of all patients eighty-year-olds dying of cancer and the rest eighteen-year-old, recreational users.  While that is statistically possible, it is far more common for such statistics as the age of medical cannabis patients to have a normal (i.e.Gaussian or bell-shaped) distribution, so that most user's age is much closer to 42 than it is 18 or 80.


 @DonkeyHotay Boycott Donkey, he's a shill for the alcohol lobby.


Yes on A64!


 @RobertChase I think the average and median age are both lower than stats, and by that I mean the reason the red-cards went down is mainly trust (and costs). I'm giving up my red-card because of 2nd amendment rights and lack of trust with Gov. But I will still buy through friends. Just like every 16-18 year old that has an older friend or brother that has a red-card and buys for them. The black market of re-selling product from a card holder is HUGE and you all know it. The gov doesn't know its head from its arse and of course doesn't care to know.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter



HipTip -- why don't YOU call the CDPHE and get the MEDIAN age?


Who knows, this may be your only chance at proving me wrong ... about anything.



DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Which is why I am promoting a constitutional amendment to

regulate harmless Marijuana LIKE deadly Alcohol !!




RobertChase topcommenter

 @mmjbakery The CDPHE hasn't provided the median age of patients and I do not understand on what basis you suppose the average age to be misstated, other than general mistrust of government (one might suppose that if the CDPHE were working hand-in-glove with the prohibitionist cops, it would want to understate patients' median age substantially).  If you oppose Prohibition, consider what you post more carefully; there is no perceptible outrage at whatever re-selling of medical cannabis occurs -- do you seek to create some?  While abuse of the medical cannabis system does not threaten patients' access in Colorado, it is no substitute for the legalization of cannabis for adults in general, and it is potentially detrimental to the cause of making cannabis available to patients who need it elsewhere.  Please think beyond your own use and consider the needs of patients and the potential for overturning the criminal laws proscribing cannabis -- we need your help!

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