Report: WA Cannabis Consumption Double Initial Predictions

A study commissioned by the Washington State Liquor Control Board has found that the state’s marijuana consumption for 2013 is approximately double the amount regulators predicted.

The study, conducted by the RAND Corporation, found that total marijuana use in the state was approximately 175 metric tons (approximately 6.2 million ounces). The number is more than twice the amount predicted by the state’s Office of Financial Management (OFM), which in 2012 pegged marijuana usage at around 85 million metric tons per year.

The higher-than-expected consumption rate bodes well for recreational marijuana sales in Washington, which could begin as early as spring. The state predicted sales of $1 billion in a fully functioning market, while the Marijuana Business Factbook estimates initial revenue of up to $500 million. But the market could be much larger – perhaps even double – based on the latest RAND report.

The data was compiled using a customized online questionnaire of the state’s marijuana users, combined with federal research. The survey included photos of marijuana to help respondents better remember the actual quantity that they use.

The survey found that marijuana users in Kings County, which is dominated by the Seattle metro area, accounted for approximately 30% of the state’s overall consumption.

How the data will impact the state’s marijuana laws is not yet known. An unnamed member of the liquor board said that the original OFM numbers were not used to create the current regulations. But the official added that the board would not immediately change Washington’s marijuana regulations.

The OFM figures were used during the 2012 election, when voters approved the state’s recreational cannabis law, as well as in the agency’s market estimates.

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4 comments on “Report: WA Cannabis Consumption Double Initial Predictions
  1. Dayvihd on

    Good news! Now there is no reason for the LCB to completely dismantle the medical MJ system, reduce the amount a MDMJ patient can grow, lower the possession limit from 24oz to only 3, and force us that are truly sick into the “party crowd” for medicine. Leave patients rights in tact, keep your hands off the medical MJ community. As it exists, it absolutely works for patients, and it works well. LCB is not a qualified medical or pharmaceutical establishment and should not be involved in anything considered “medical” or medicine…EVER.

  2. Randy on

    I cannot believe that Colorado has opened their recreational pot stores before Washington State did, even though we in WA. had it legalized first by date. I wish the state govt. would quit trying to button down every penney available and just allow the MMJ be left alone to operate just as THEY (the state legislature) made the laws that are currently in place and are followed, and just open the rec stores already. For crying out loud, how difficult can this be. Colorado has it figured out. What’s wrong with our state, open the stores already.

  3. Al Felker on

    The medical dispensaries have no 3rd party to monitor the quality of their products. This is important for a lot of us recreational users.

    Medical marijuana growers have no incentive to improve the quality or to standardize their offerings to dispensaries.

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