10% in Colorado Used Marijuana Since Jan. 1

A new poll has found that 10% of Colorado voters have tried cannabis since the start of recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, underscoring the market’s sizable potential.

The figure equates to more than 300,000 consumers who are at least 21, the legal age required to purchase recreational marijuana.

Of course, a big chunk of those residents are registered medical marijuana patients (more than 110,000 residents have MMJ cards). But the rest – nearly 200,000 – have used cannabis this year and therefore could be potential customers for retail shops, if they aren’t already.

The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, asked respondents if they had simply consumed cannabis, rather than if they bought it at a shop. So it’s unclear how many actually visited stores.

Still, the results show that retail stores have a deep local customer pool to tap, especially if they can beat out the black market.

The university’s polling institution seems to think local usage is low, saying “only” 10% of respondents have tried cannabis. But that’s a huge portion of the population, especially given that retail stores launched just six weeks ago.

More locals will likely try cannabis over time as they become more comfortable with the idea. Case in point: 17% or respondents said they would try marijuana-infused brownies if someone brought them to a gathering.

Additionally, around 50% of respondents said they had tried cannabis at some point in their lifetime.

The poll also found that 51% of Coloradans say that recreational marijuana has hurt the state’s image, though 58% support the law (which is more than the 55% that voted in favor of legalized cannabis in 2012).