Marijuana: Recreational sales down, patient numbers and medical pot sales up

Categories: Marijuana

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It's been three-and-a-half months since the start of recreational cannabis sales in Colorado, but recent stats show that medical marijuana sales still far outpace recreational sales -- even with a patient base of fewer than 114,000 people.

Retail sales tax collected in the state in February for retail cannabis sales was about half that collected from medical sales, according to Colorado Department of Revenue data. Medical marijuana sales were somewhere around the $35 million mark, while retail sales totaled about $15 million.

In February, medical marijuana sales outpaced state projections by more than $400,000, while retail sales failed to hit state estimates by almost $400,000.

According to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment figures, the number of registered medical marijuana card-holders grew from January to February by almost 2,500 people, topping out at 113,441 patients as of February 28. The total number of new applications was somewhere around 3,471; CDPHE officials say the state hasn't denied any applications lately, although out of the 1,100 applications they process each month, about 11 percent are rejected for things like errors and corrections.

Included in this year's patient increase are some 33 additional minors, bringing the total number of children under the age of eighteen on the registry to 248. That number has skyrocketed since February 2013, when there were just 39 minors signed up to access legal medical cannabis with a parent's permission.

About 54 percent of all patients have designated a primary caregiver or a medical marijuana center to grow cannabis in their name. We asked the CDPHE's Mark Salley about the caregiver totals, and he provided a "snapshot" of data from March, saying the information is "dynamic and changes daily" -- though the ratio has stayed roughly the same for the past year. According to that snapshot, 4,944 patients had a private caregiver last month, and 53,747 people had given their growing privileges to a medical marijuana center. Salley also notes that patients under eighteen as well as homebound patients can designate both a caregiver and an MMC to be their primary grower.

Those numbers could soon change, however. The state currently licenses about 3,300 caregivers; out of those, about 24 have licenses to grow for more than five patients -- something the CDPHE says it would like to end. And this month, letters were sent to caregivers serving more than five patients, warning them that they would be under review.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Spice bust in Loveland puts focus on dangers of "synthetic marijuana" and "Denver hotel searches for 4/20 weekend up 73 percent."

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133 comments
robertobar
robertobar

Be Smart. Grow your own. Buy a book. 


robertobar
robertobar

Be Smart. Grow your own. Buy a book. Stop going poor to feed the rich.


Aksel Aldric Barnes
Aksel Aldric Barnes

Considering it costs more money for Rec pot than I paid at 16... yeah it was to be expected once the tourism factor slowed down.

Stuart McMillin
Stuart McMillin

The novelty of paying $70 in a $30 market wears off pretty quickly.

Ben Lucero
Ben Lucero

It was better illegal less bullshit from dumb ass people.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

               ===> Marijuana Overdose Leads to DEATH !! <===


Man who plunged from Denver balcony ate 6x recommended amount of pot cookie

A college student who jumped to his death from a Denver hotel balcony last month ate six times the recommended amount of a marijuana cookie before his death.


Levy Thamba, a 19-year-old student at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., died last month at a Holiday Inn in northeast Denver while visiting with three friends.


An investigative report by Denver police into Thamba's death released this week details events leading up to the young man's death.


Denver police presented the case to the Denver District Attorney's Office./// 


Prosecutors decided not to pursue criminal charges against Bessie Gondwe, the only person of legal age among the foursome who would be able to purchase recreational marijuana in Colorado.


Thamba, who was from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, ate an entire "Sweet Grass Kitchen" lemon poppy seed cookie. It contained 65 milligrams of THC and was labeled 6.5 servings, the report said.


Gondwe, 23, one of the students and a friend of Thamba, told investigators that the cookie was purchased at a downtown marijuana store, Native Root Apothecary, on the 16th Street Mall.The group purchased four cookies, one for each one of them, at a price of $10 apiece.


Back at the hotel they all consumed a single slice of the cookie. Thamba said "he didn't feel anything and he ate the remainder of his cookie all at once."


Thamba awoke early that morning, shivering and speaking in French, the report said. The others — the group was sharing a room — calmed him down.


But he awoke several times, again in incoherent states, at one point apparently talking to a room lamp.


During one of the intervals, Thamba left the fourth- floor hotel room, returned and said: "This is a sign from God that this has happened, that I can't control myself," Anna Jakaovljeveic, 20, Thamba's friend, told investigators. "It's not because of the weed."


He went back to sleep, but awoke "crazy" and began smashing room furniture, lamps and the television.


He ran from the room, out the front door, and tumbled over a railing on an elevated hallway overlooking the lobby.


As part of the investigation police confiscated all Sweet Grass cookies Native Root had in stock.


The Denver coroner listed "marijuana intoxication" as a significant condition contributing to his death. According to an autopsy report, Thamba's marijuana concentration in his blood was 7.2 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. In impaired driving cases, state law sets a standard of 5 nanograms per milliliter at which juries can presume impairment.


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Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

All the weed is basically the same and the schwag that we get from Mexico is just as good too just not as tasty

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

The taxes are too high driving people back to the black market swagga still 50 an oz on the street

Sean Valdez
Sean Valdez

@SHANE that is nonsense they pay a huge tax themselves. This is the local government robbing rec shops. They basically set it up for failure.

Sean Valdez
Sean Valdez

I think it will be seasonal and area there is shop really close to me on Alameda that always has long lines. However I think they should bring the tax down maybe to 15% it is absurd that it is 25%.

AnGie Lovato
AnGie Lovato

that's because its so damn expensive everybody's probably going back to the streets to buy cheaper

Joan Riddle Christoph
Joan Riddle Christoph

Jeffrey Fennig, I work at a dispensary and can tell you unequivocally that your view is complete bunk. Same strains, same strength on both sides.

Jeffrey Fennig
Jeffrey Fennig

Joan Riddle Christoph they've reported more than once that the thc levels in recreational marijuana are lower because the top strains are classified as medical

John Schilling
John Schilling

I would never NOT use a card if I needed MM. Because it is medicinal with the card. The card gives you doctor approved medicine.

Rodger Sherman
Rodger Sherman

I didn't say it was wrong, I said I didn't like it. Surprise! Consumers don't like higher prices! Thanks for your input though

Monkey
Monkey

Still no corrections to the story. WW follows around Robert Chase, so he can post a physician letter, but they don't fix their own mistake of saying caregivers are receiving a letter for serving more than 5 patients? 


Bill Workman
Bill Workman

Dispenasry owners in the weed community are CAPITALIZING on the backs of their fellow tokers...NO! It's all about the LOVE MAN.

Bill Workman
Bill Workman

Yea all those cameras watching you on the rec side wouldn't be incriminating!

Heather Doozer
Heather Doozer

this is going to be unpopular- Now that we have rec marijuana, it should be harder to get the med cards. As it is now, it's really just a way to pay less in taxes.

Maggie May
Maggie May

Everyone figured out how much cheaper MMJ is.

Marcus Andrew
Marcus Andrew

stronger? it's all pretty close unless it came from Mexico

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Obviously, the number of minor patients has skyrocketed due to mainstream media coverage such as Sanjay Gupta's recent reports.

Jose Montoya
Jose Montoya

Everyone is using their cards still, to avoid the tax hike. Duh.

Passion  Ward
Passion Ward

Makes sense. Who wants to pay a bunch of extra tax on weed.

Shawn Jones
Shawn Jones

Novelty. And I hear that the Rec pot is sometimes schwaggy.

Tyler Miller
Tyler Miller

its way to much for rec pot 70$ for one 8th.... FUCK THAT!

Bob Dobbs
Bob Dobbs

The legislature is doing its best to overprice recreational through onerous taxation.

Scott Santeramo
Scott Santeramo

No, not surprised at all. It's like a new restaurant for example. Lots of hype, people want to try the newest thing, and specifically this market garnered alot of people wanting to be a part of history. It will eventually level off and find it's sweet spot. Don't think "the world is falling...pot sales plummet" kind of mentality. This is not something out of the ordinary.

Amanda Kay Barrows
Amanda Kay Barrows

Theyre charging 35 dollar per 100 u spend fuck that thank god for our illegal pot dealers lol

Rodger Sherman
Rodger Sherman

It's not the tax. Yes, tax is higher, but every fuckin store is charging %30 more base price for the same fucking strains. Shops know the demand is high enough to warrant higher prices.

Ben Deco
Ben Deco

Too much tax drives the black market. People are still toking.

P Zo Porter
P Zo Porter

35-62 % tax...Only can purchase up to a Qtr...edibles only 100mgz.....Not surprised at all!!! LMHbAO

Christopher Breining
Christopher Breining

Will have its flexibility. Around 4/20, Or any party holidays sales will spike.

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editor

Robert: there are no humans deleting your comments. The combo of a lot of links in a comment and a lot of comments posted in a certain amount of time set off a spam alert in this program. Michael and I see those in the morning and can override. I've done that.


I'll get more technical details on how to avoid this in the future and share them with you, if you'd like. In the meantime, my apologies for your problems.

cowxguy
cowxguy

You can thank the dumbass voters of this state for passing Prop AA, which was essentially a major "sin" tax on recreational pot. I don't think people knew what they were getting themselves into when they voted for this! Needs to be repealed or the black market will continue to thrive.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... true that. The Douchebag Factor has increased 100 fold since the Cannabis Clown Circus came to town.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartel Pigs!!


        Support your Local Private Caregiver / Grower !!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels !!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@patricia.calhoun  "Robert: there are no humans deleting your comments"


They assign Robots for such trivial tasks.



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@patricia.calhoun I never thought there were, but humans did decide how the commenting system does or does not work.  I don't want to be schooled in the quirks of your commenting system; I want it not do delete comments after they have been successfully posted. You have admitted the commenting system takes drastic actions, and it definitely fails to give notice before or after doing so.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@cowxguy  "You can thank the dumbass voters of this state for passing Prop AA"


You can thank the Lying Liars -- Vicente, Tvert, Sederberg, Corry -- who wrote that festering piece of shit A64 which INCLUDED MASSIVE TAXES on marijuana, and the fools and tools who promoted and voted for it.


Only AN IDIOT would beg the Government -- and prohibitionists -- to TAX THE SHIT out of anything they actually cared about.


Stupid Politically Clueless Stoners are as Stupid Politically Clueless Stoners do.

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editor

@RobertChase @patricia.calhounout of thousands of comments, only a few are automatically deleted by the program -- and those usually because of profanity (we're working on that, because it's stupid). What affected your comments was the anti-spam portion of the program, and we're working on that, too...but that's tougher, because we don't want the comments section loaded with spam. sorry again.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "The essential problem is that the entire process is completely opaque"


It's only a "problem" for a self-absorbed conceited know-nothing like you.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@patricia.calhoun @RobertChase  The essential problem is that the entire process is completely opaque; the system issues no warnings or error messages; it simply deletes comments which have already been posted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@patricia.calhoun @RobertChase  


Poor Robert "the dilettante" Chase knows not of which he whines, always resorts to his innate personal paranoia when confronted with the unknown.



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