^
Keep Westword Free
4

Medical marijuana registry stats up again, but far below previous peak

As of the end of May, there were 98,910 red card-holding medical marijuana patients in the state according to MMJ registry numbers released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. That's up from the previous report, released in June. But despite a steady increase over the past six months, the sum still doesn't compare to the number of patients registered at this time last year.

In the months between July 2011 and November of 2011, the Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient Registry total dropped by more than 48,000 people, from 128,698 to 80,558.

The bleeding of patients stopped in December of that year, but the numbers have been slow to regain the lost ground. In the same amount of time that it took for the registry to lose more than 37 percent of it's total, it has only bounced back by 18,352. That includes the most recent boost over the April total of 96,709.

Why? Apparently, many patients simply are not returning to the registry.

The total number of new patient applications since the program began went up by 3,017 patients, to 180,925, between April and May. But the total increase in valid cards was only 2,101 patients. This implies that while the registry may have gained 3,017 new patients in one month, roughly 816 existing patients either didn't renew their cards, dropped off the registry voluntarily or were kicked off by the CDPHE.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

This trend has been seen every month since November 2011 with the exception of February, when only 1,619 new patients were added to the registry but it grew by 4,522 people. So while the registry has added nearly 19,500 patients in the last six months, the tota. number of MMJ cards has only gone up by 18,352.

Other statistics for the registry remained mostly unchanged through May. Men still make up the majority of the registry and the average age for all patients is 42. The majority of patients live in the Denver metro area and severe pain is the most common reason for medical cannabis recommendations.

A majority (54 percent) of patients still designate someone else as their primary caregiver -- and those numbers do not include medical marijuana centers. A CDPHE spokesman said the department is compiling stats on patients who sign up with MMCs; we'll update this post when and if officials get back to us.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Hash ruling in Montana unlikely to fly in Colorado, attorney says" and "Marijuana: Could Los Angeles-style dispensary closures happen in Denver?"

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.