Ask a Stoner: How Big Is Colorado's Black Market for Marijuana?EXPAND

Ask a Stoner: How Big Is Colorado's Black Market for Marijuana?

Dear Stoner: Is the black market still a thing here? What’s the point of buying off the street anymore?

Dear AJ: The state has tried its best to crush the black market since legalization, slashing plant counts and upping black- and gray-market enforcement of unregulated medical and recreational grows. All of that home-grow hatred and a maturing cannabis industry has undoubtedly cut into black-market sales. According to Arcview Market Research’s latest study on the nation’s cannabis industry, Colorado had the smallest rate of black-market cannabis transactions by far compared to other states, at just 27 percent of total spending. Compare that to a 51 percent rate in Washington and 49 percent rate in Oregon — and a 100 percent rate in prohibition states — and Colorado looks pretty clean.
Some cannabis consumers, especially those who consumed heavily before legalization, still prefer the black market because they distrust the industry and/or hate commercialization. A Cannabis Consumer Coalition study in which 84 percent of the respondents identified as daily users asked where they bought their pot. Fewer than 12 percent said they bought cannabis from a recreational dispensary, while nearly 46 percent said they still buy off the black market and 15 percent said they grow their own.

Have a question for our Stoner? E-mail marijuana@westword.com or call the potline at 303-­293-­2222.

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