Using federal data and information from a new survey of marijuana users in Washington state, researchers say marijuana consumption likely will range from 135 metric tons to 225 metric tons during 2013, with 175 metric tons as the median estimate.
The analysis was done as a part of efforts to help the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepare for commercial sales of marijuana, which will begin in 2014 as a result of Washington's Initiative 502 that legalized the commercial production and sales of marijuana for recreational use.
The Washington Office of Financial Management previously had estimated that marijuana consumption in Washington would be 85 metric tons in 2013. That estimate was based on federal data from 2008 and 2009, which estimated there were 363,000 past-month marijuana users in Washington. The figure for 2010 and 2011 was 556,000.
RAND researchers say understanding the size and composition of the current marijuana market is important to help state policymakers make decisions about the number of marijuana sales licenses to issue, to accurately project tax revenues and provide a foundation for evaluations of the state's legalization of recreational marijuana.
"Updated federal data and information we collected from marijuana users in Washington prompted us to conclude that consumption is significantly larger than previously estimated," said Beau Kilmer, the study's lead author and a senior policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding marijuana market estimates, but our work used new insights and novel data collection tools to improve upon previous efforts."
Randy Simmons, the Initiative 502 implementation project manager with the Washington State Liquor Control Board, said researchers shared their insights about marijuana consumption in June and the information was "very useful" as state officials made decisions about production and licenses.
The Washington state marijuana consumption estimates were compiled using information from the federal National Survey on Drug Use and Health, as well as a web-based survey of marijuana users in Washington state compiled by the research team. The online survey included novel approaches such as showing participants photos of marijuana to help them better report the actual quantity that they use.
"The federal National Survey on Drug Use and Health provides useful information about marijuana users, but it does not account for all of them," said Jonathan Caulkins, a study co-author and the Stever Professor of Operations Research and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. "We devoted serious attention to this undercounting issue in the report."
The RAND report estimates marijuana consumption in each of Washington's 39 counties, showing that the state's three most-populous counties (King, Snohomish and Pierce) account for about half of all use.
Support for the study was provided by the state of Washington as part of a contract with BOTEC Analysis Corporation, which advised the state on technical issues related to implementation of legal marijuana in the state.
Voters in Washington approved Initiative 502 in November 2012 that legalized recreational use of marijuana for those aged 21 and older, and requires the state to regulate and tax a new marijuana market. Commercial marijuana stores and associated supply chains are scheduled to begin operating in 2014.
The RAND report, "Before the Grand Opening: Measuring Washington State's Marijuana Market in the Last Year Before Legalized Commercial Sales," is available at http://www.rand.org. Other authors of the report are Jonathan P. Caulkins and Linden Dahlkemper of Carnegie Mellon University, Greg Midgette and Rosalie Liccardo Pacula of RAND, and Robert J. MacCoun of UC Berkeley.
Since 1989, the RAND Drug Policy Research Center has conducted research to help policymakers in the United States and throughout the world address issues involving alcohol and other drugs. In doing so, the center brings an objective and data-driven perspective to an often emotional and fractious policy arena.
Warren Robak | EurekAlert!
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy