While it seems like there’s a Starbucks on every corner in the country, pot shops in Colorado officially outnumber Starbucks…for the third year in a row. A report looking at legalization impacts in the state of Colorado found that there are more marijuana dispensaries than there are Starbucks and McDonald’s.
While this can vary in different areas, on average there’s more weed than there is craft coffee and fast-food burgers and fries. There are currently 491 dispensaries in Colorado. There are 392 Starbucks coffee shops and 208 McDonald’s. This is regardless that 66 percent of jurisdictions in the state have banned medical and recreational marijuana.
Report Looks at Several Aspects of Legal Cannabis in Colorado
The 176-page report, conducted by the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA), also found other statistics regarding the recreational and medical cannabis throughout the state. Some of the highlights include:
- The seizure of 984 pounds of marijuana in Colorado’s mail system, which is close to a 1,000 percent increase over the past four years (914%).
- 5 tons of black market marijuana were seized, which included trying to take it out of state. Major destinations for black market marijuana were Florida, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas.
- A 5 percent increase of alcohol consumption, when it was assumed the use of alcohol would decrease once cannabis was legal.
- The top percentage of cannabis consumers is in the age range of 18-25-year-olds.
- Average THC content of flower is 17.1 percent.
- Average THC content in oils is 62.1 percent.
- LGBTQ residents of Colorado are among the top demographic who use recreational cannabis.
- Cannabis use among college-aged students is 61 percent higher than the national average.
- Adult use of marijuana in Colorado is 124 percent higher than the national average.
The report aimed to track the impact legalization has had in Colorado. It compared different eras of Colorado’s legal marijuana history. These include:
- 2006-2008: Medical marijuana pre-commercialization era
- 2009-present: Medical marijuana commercialization and expansion era
- 2013-present: Recreational marijuana era
It is the fifth annual report on the impact of legalized marijuana in Colorado. According to the report, “Colorado serves as an experimental lab for the nation to determine the impact of legalizing marijuana. This is an important opportunity to gather and examine meaningful data and identify trends. Citizens and policymakers nationwide may want to delay any decisions on this important issue until there is sufficient and accurate data to make informed decisions.”