Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marijuana consumption in Washington higher than previously estimated, study finds

Date:
December 18, 2013
Source:
RAND Corporation
Summary:
Estimating the market for marijuana use is important as the states of Colorado and Washington prepare to regulate the sale of the drug for recreational use. The information will aid decisions about the number of marijuana sales licenses to issue, to accurately project tax revenues and provide a foundation for evaluations of the states' legalization efforts. A new study of Washington state finds that marijuana consumption is about twice as large as previously estimated.

Marijuana consumption in Washington state is about twice as large as previously estimated, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RAND Corporation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Beau Kilmer, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Gregory Midgette, Linden Dahlkemper, Robert J. Maccoun, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula. Before the Grand Opening: Measuring Washington State's Marijuana Market in the Last Year Before Legalized Commercial Sales. Rand Corporation, December 2013

Cite This Page:

RAND Corporation. "Marijuana consumption in Washington higher than previously estimated, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218100135.htm>.
RAND Corporation. (2013, December 18). Marijuana consumption in Washington higher than previously estimated, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218100135.htm
RAND Corporation. "Marijuana consumption in Washington higher than previously estimated, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218100135.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins