What Does Sleep, Pain Relief, Full-Time Employment & $100k In Assets Have In Common? Cannabis Use in Colorado

Cannabis Freakonomics Part 1:

According to the first study we analyzed with data from surveys conducted by Consumer Research Around Cannabis, the cannabis users of the Denver metropolitan area agree that contrary to popular belief, the number one reason for use is sleep and not a good party. The second most common reason was for pain relief.

As the stereotype linked to marijuana use is that of a person who is constantly looking for the next high, or what the world has deemed “stoners”, this survey tends to bust that myth.

Consumer Research surveyed 1,258 marijuana users in the Denver metropolitan area and nearby parts of Wyoming and Nebraska.

The survey found that 47.2% of the respondents bought cannabis to help them sleep. Using cannabis to resolve insomnia is so common that it is claimed to be one of the top alternatives to deadly pharmaceuticals for veterans to get rest.

Many people with sleep problems like cannabis because they aren’t left feeling groggy in the morning, which is a common problem with over-the-counter sleep aids. Cannabis also has none of the addictive properties that some prescription sleep aids like Ambien or Lunesta contain.

Contrary to the myth of hard-partying stoners like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, only 28.5% of the people surveyed said they used cannabis to have a good time with friends and family. More people (32.8%) said they used it for creative purposes and expanding perceptions and thought processes rather than partying.

Some 47.2% said they buy marijuana is to treat chronic or recurring pain, tied for first place with sleep as a motivating factor. It was followed by 45.7% who used it to help depression or anxiety.

Another stereotype of movie character stoners is that they are unemployed or grossly underemployed. In the Denver area, it turns out that most cannabis customers have full-time jobs and live in two-income families. Some 50% say they are financial optimists and believe they’ll be better off in six months from now.

IRA’s and 401K’s are held by 42%, 18% have traded stocks and 19% have over $100,000 in liquid assets. This isn’t surprising because over half of Denver’s marijuana users have household incomes of $50,000 or more.

So for the first of many articles that will review the interesting data that is normally unaccounted for in what we will now term “Cannabis Freakonomics”, powered by the Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis, we see that for Colorado users cannabis use is about sleeping and pain relief, they have money in the bank and hold solid jobs.

Cynthia Salarizadeh

Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia Salarizadeh

Managing Partner of KCSA Strategic Communications, Founder of AxisWire, Co-founder of Green Market Report & Industry Power Women. Cynthia is a contributing writer for Entrepreneur and Forbes. She sits on the Forbes Communications Council and holds a degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a certificate in journalism from Georgetown.


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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