n 1996, California was the first state to pass a proposition for the legalizing of marijuana for medical purposes. Since then, medical marijuana and the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes has seen a growing amount of support. By 2017, 29 states had legalized medical cannabis for a plethora of uses, including AIDS, glaucoma, and certain cancers. While once a taboo and controversial topic, if current trends continue, legalization of marijuana, the marijuana industry, dispensaries, and public support will continue to expand. Let’s take a look at dispensary statistics.
1. Number Of Dispensaries Across The U.S.
According to Trend Statistics, as of 2017, there were over 1,700 medical marijuana dispensaries open in the U.S. With over 500, Colorado had the most dispensaries. Rounding out the top five, Ohio had 400, Oregon had 345, Maryland had 102, and Arizona had 99. Medical marijuana sales in 2017 totaled $3.2 billion, and there were over 28,000 cannabis businesses in the U.S. in 2017. Where did the majority of medical marijuana users purchase their cannabis? A 2016 poll showed that 61% bought from local dispensaries.
2. Approval Is At All Time High
Cannabisser estimates that 76% of doctors approve of medical marijuana, 76% of the public approve of legalizing marijuana, and around 1.3 million Americans actually use marijuana on a daily basis. 92% of those using medical marijuana stand by its effectiveness and do not overuse it. This Huffington Post article points out that the rise in approval may stem from CDC data collected in 2014, which included a record number of alcohol-related deaths ( 30,700,) opioid overdoses rising 14%, and almost 26,000 people dying from prescription overdoses. Meanwhile, the deaths associated with marijuana-users getting their cannabis from a dispensary was zero.
3. Prohibition Costs Verses Jobs And Taxation Benefits
The bulk of research shows that the cost of trying to prevent illegal marijuana use verses projected revenues from legal sales and dispensaries is astounding. Statistics in this Hemp American Media Group article show that prohibition of marijuana costs the federal government and individual states over $17 billion each year. Meanwhile, Colorado has devoted $40 million of their marijuana tax revenue to public school building, and the Marijuana Industry Group estimates that 7,000-10,000 jobs have been created by the marijuana industry in Colorado alone. – https://azmarijuana.com/arizona-medical-marijuana-news/shocking-growth-statistics-marijuana-industry/
4. How Costly Is It To Become A Medical Marijuana Dispensary?
Most states require dispensary applicants to have lived locally for at least two years and not have any felony drug charges within the last five years. The rules and regulations to become a dispensary vary by state law and sometimes by jurisdictions, but it’s generally a lengthy process and is also heavily regulated after opening.It can also be costly in some states. Dispensary requirements to become a medical marijuana dispensary in Pennsylvania, for example, come with a permit application that requires a non-refundable $5,000 application fee, a refundable $30,000 permit fee, and proof of $150,000 in investment capital. Licensing fees vary greatly per state. While only $3,000 in Colorado and a mere $150 in Louisiana, the licensing fee in New Jersey is $20,000. Investment capital is a similar story. In Nevada an astounding $250,000 in liquid assets are demanded of anyone wanting to open a dispensary.
5. Accessibility Remains A Problem Even After Legalization
According to statistics collected by Las Vegas Dispensary, legalized marijuana sales from 2016 showed a $6.6 billion dollar revenue from the combined total of recreational and medical marijuana sales, and the 2025 projected revenue was upwards of $24 billion. Despite sales and legalization, some states, where it’s legal to buy cannabis for recreational use, do not have places to actually purchase it. Massachusetts, for example, has legalized recreational marijuana use, but the only purchase outlets are for the medical marijuana consumers.
6. Dispensaries Are Thriving
The Marijuana Webmasters editorial team found some interesting stats on the cannabis market, including that 94 million Americans admit to having tried marijuana at some point. They also found that Colorado has more dispensaries than they do Starbucks and McDonald’s locations combined. That’s not surprising considering there’s over 25,000 industrial hemp product usages in development at any given time and over 15 medical conditions have clinical trial research that strongly supports medical marijuana treatment. It’s also not surprising that 90% of dispensaries reported at least breaking even in 2016, and that somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 new jobs were created by the nationwide marijuana industry.
7. Is There Such Thing As Dispensary Overload?
Colorado Pot Guide recently looked at the attractiveness of opening a dispensary in Colorado. Over 121 tons of marijuana is purchased per year in Colorado, and there are some 900 dispensaries. A main concern was that an oversupply could find its way to the black market. Colorado’s “seed to sale” tracking system has by all reports worked to prevent this, however.
8. Crime and Legalized Marijuana
California NORML has a plethora of interesting studies on marijuana legalization and the resulting legalities. One study found that legalizing marijuana has helped police solve other crimes. A 2017 study found that marijuana dispensaries have a lower neighborhood crime rate than surrounding stores selling alcohol and tobacco. A Harvard Business review study found that crime increases following a dispensary closing. All of these studies are dispelling the myth that marijuana dispensaries are associated with criminal activities.
9. Less Prescription Pain Medication Use In States With Medical Marijuana
Statista data shows that there have been fewer drug doses in the U.S. in states where marijuana has been legalized. Between 2010 and 2013, almost 2,000 less drugs were prescribed to pain patients in states with medical marijuana dispensaries. It would be interesting to see updated CDC data about the number of prescription drug and alcohol-related deaths in states with medical and recreational use marijuana dispensaries.