New Report Finds 'Substantial' Increase In Marijuana Use In Colorado

BDS Analytics has issued a new report on the public attitude towards marijuana in Colorado and there has been a strong movement towards more positive perception, as the state continues to embrace its cannabis culture.

The study, which was conducted from Jan. 16, 2018-Feb. 13, 2018 and ensured all participants were 21 or older, noted there has been “a substantial increase” in Colorado adults consuming marijuana, compared to the first-quarter of 2017. The researchers also found that adults were more open to exploring cannabis in different forms, though they did have prior cannabis experience or were open to using it in the future.

Colorado continues to be among the few states with legalized marijuana for recreational use and it’s clear its residents are taking advantage of that. The state saw a 12 percent increase in dollar sales year-over-year from the first-quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018, according to retail sales that BDS tracks.

Among those who are consuming, BDS found Colorado’s consumers as skewing slightly older and more likely to be male. The consumers are also more likely to see it as medicine, consider themselves “connoisseurs” and claim that cannabis is part of their everyday routine.

There’s also been a shift in using it towards health and wellness benefits, especially for pain management and belief.

Here are 9 of the most interesting facts from BDS Analytics’ findings about the Colorado cannabis market.

1. Consumption is going up.

BDS found that 35 percent of Colorado residents consumed marijuana in the first-quarter of this year, as opposed to just 25 percent in the first-quarter of last year.

2. Rejectors are less likely to support it now.

Marijuana became legal to purchase in Colorado in 2014 for anyone over the age of 21 for any purpose, making it the first place in the world to have that distinction. Since then, however, rejectors have become more entrenched in their thinking.

Just 63 percent of rejectors would support legalization now, compared to compared to 80 percent in the first-quarter of 2017. In total, 85 percent of respondents think there should be some form of legal marijuana use. Perhaps not surprisingly, 99 percent of consumers who’ve used marijuana in the past six months think it should be legal in some form.

3. Health benefits.

Sixty-eight percent now believe marijuana has some health benefits, including 68 percent who believe it can relieve pain, 61 percent believe it can help with the side effects of chemotherapy and 55 percent believe minors should use it if okayed by a doctor and with parental consent.

4. Relaxation usage going down.

People who said they were using it for relaxation benefits went down year-over-year. Thirty percent said they were using it for relaxation (things like managing anxiety or stress) in the first-quarter, compared to 34% in the first-quarter of 2017.

5. An evening hit.

Consumption of marijuana is favored mostly in the evening, though the study noted that consumers are partaking in their usage throughout the day.

6. Methods are shifting.

The way people are consuming marijuana is shifting, if just a bit. They continue to prefer inhaling it, but topical use is also growing. 79 percent of consumers inhaled it in the first-quarter of 2018, compared to 67 percent in the first-quarter of 2017.

7. Gummy divine.

For those who prefer to consume it using edibles, gummy candies reign supreme.

Fifty-four percent of respondents say they have consumed gummy candies in the past six months. Forty-nine percent say they have consumed baked goods, 44 percent say they’ve eaten chocolate candy and 36 percent say they’ve eaten hard candy in the past six months.

8. Topical.

Salves are the most preferred way to consume it by topical consumers, but lotions and creams also receive heavy usage. Thirty-four percent say salves or balms are the most preferred way to use it.

However, of those who have applied it topically in the past six months, lotions comes in at 45 percent, creams at 43 percent and salves or balms at 41 percent.

9. Where to buy?

Overwhelmingly, Colorado consumers prefer to purchase their marijuana from a dispensary, at 90 percent, compared to 88 percent in Q1 2017.

Jack Smith

Jack Smith

Jack Smith is a tech reporter that dabbles in cannabis reporting to help out his good friends at GMR.


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