Monday, May 20, 2013

How Much Will a Legal Marijuana Habit Cost You?

Marijuana Leaves
If you’re an average pot smoker in Colorado—paying average prices for average-quality marijuana—you can expect to spend around $650 on weed next year. 

A study conducted by the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University aimed to get to the bottom of how much the state can expect to collect in tax revenues now that marijuana is legal. By doing a little extra math, we can get a rough estimate for what the average marijuana enthusiast will spend annually as well.

Researchers estimate that in 2014, 642,772 Colorado residents, or about 12.5% of the state population, will take advantage of pot’s newly legal status. Analysts assumed each person would smoke or otherwise “use” 3.53 ounces of marijuana annually, for a total of 2,268,985 ounces (about 142,000 pounds) per year.

All of these numbers may be underestimated, because they’re based on data compiled when recreational marijuana was illegal. In fact, there are so many unknowns in the realm of legal non-medicinal pot that all of this math has a crude back-of-the-napkin quality to it. In any event, using the study’s numbers, the average marijuana enthusiast can expect to pay a retail price of $185 per ounce next year. Multiply that times 3.53 ounces—which no one can buy at once, mind you, because there’s a one-ounce purchase maximum for residents—and the total comes to $653 annually spent on pot.

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