Pot sales reached record-breaking levels in June in Colorado. According to Slate, dispensaries did $24.7 million in sales, a 19 percent increase overall from May. More:
In the first six months of 2014, recreational marijuana sales in Colorado totaled $115 million, which has translated into $20 million for the taxman, notes Colorado Public Radio. Recreational and medical pot sales totaled a whopping $308 million during the January-June period. While medical sales continue to outpace recreational purchases, the trend could soon shift as more recreational stores open. There are around 120 recreational pot dispensaries in the state, compared to some 500 medical storefronts.
Legalization unsurprisingly has created an enormous demand for the drug. But what the Slate story doesn’t quite delve into is the demographics of those buying the marijuana. Previous reports found that drug use was concentrated among heavy users even in a legal market, and that legalization had basically given that subset of users the opportunities it needed to sink further and further into destructive, compulsive consumption of the drug. While this recent surge in sales may be partially attributable to those chasing a recreational high, it seems more likely to be driven by the increasing dependency among heavy pot users.