California has always been a harbinger of marijuana laws and many residents seem eager to move forward with more liberal and widespread legislative changes. As Colorado and Washington pave the way to legalization, law enforcement officials, investors, business owners, and pot enthusiasts are watching the legal experiment play out. Colorado is seen as a bellwether for what benefits and pitfalls may lie ahead for other states seeking to legalize the drug. An SF Weekly analysis of the recent demand for legal marijuana in Colorado indicates that California’s demand for recreational pot could exceed 2.1 million pounds. Doing the math, a pound of weed for $1,000 means that the demand for California’s recreational pot is estimated at $2.1 billion.
Comparing Colorado and California may be complicated by population, localized values and interest, as well as other variables, but it does help to predict what the pot market could look like in the state if marijuana becomes legalized.
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According to Colorado marijuana agency data, the annual demand for recreational marijuana is 130 metric tons. This comparative analysis of Colorado to California could yield exorbitant numbers, both in the amount of marijuana demand to suit the market, and in profits. The Colorado agency prepared the study for the Department of Revenue, stating that the state has a demand for 121.4 metric tons of weed per year. The state also include the nine metric tons consumed by tourists who flock to the state. Compiling the data, analysts concluded that this is 130 metric tons or 286,000 pounds.
Comparing this data with the state of California, one of the obvious differences is the huge size and population differences in the states. Colorado has 8 million people, while California has a population 7.5 times the size. The population, now estimated at 38 million, continues to grow, along with the demand for marijuana and recreational marijuana. If the demand levels for pot are the same in California as they are in Colorado, the state could be looking at a demand of 975 metric tons or nearly 2.1 billion pounds. Analysts and advocates for legalization claim that this estimate may be conservative. California is also better known for its climates, oceans, and universities which may make it a more popular tourist destination, even further increasing the demand.
Agencies, non-profits, and other advocates continue to lobby for better regulations and some are looking towards the prospect of legalization. While the huge demand and profit could produce significant state tax revenues, it also shows the potential for huge business, job growth, and other benefits. Projections for the demand and potential income may not be relevant until California legislators work towards a more cohesive policy on recreational or medical marijuana usage. For now, California lawmakers, investors, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts can continue to watch the Colorado market as it helps to shape state and national policy.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
More Blog Entries:
Getting Started in the Medical Marijuana Industry, May 15, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
United States Marijuana Laws Influencing Other Countries, February 14, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog