New RAND Report Reveals Predictions of Washington Cannabis Consumption for 2013 Not Even Close

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New RAND Report Reveals Predictions of Washington Cannabis Consumption for 2013 Not Even Close

A new report released from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center has found that past projections of cannabis consumptionstock2 in Washington for 2013 fell short – by hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The report estimates the weight of cannabis consumed in Washington in 2013 based on data collected from existing household surveys and a new web-based consumption survey, and the results indicate that previous projections of Washington’s consumption rate for 2013 reflected less than half of actual consumption for the year:

“While the Washington Office of Financial Management projected that 85 metric tons (MT) of marijuana would be consumed in the state in 2013, this report suggests that estimate is probably too low, perhaps by a factor of two. There is inevitable uncertainty surrounding estimates of illegal and quasi-illegal activities, so it is better to think in terms of a range of possible sizes, rather than a point estimate. Analyses suggest a range of 135–225 MT, which might loosely be thought of as a 90-percent confidence interval, with a median estimate close to 175 MT.”

The Washington State Liquor Control Board, the entity tasked with regulating the upcoming recreational cannabis market, intends to allow 80 metric tons of cannabis to be produced in the first year; half for use as dried bud, half to be used in infused products (edibles, lotions, etc.).

Along with insight into Washington’s aggregate consumption, other key findings of the study include:

  • 64% of Washington residents who responded in the online survey reported using cannabis at least 21 days per month.
  •  Washington residents who use cannabis 21 or more times per month consume, on average, an estimated 1.3–1.9 grams during a typical use day.
  • More than half (50.7%) of Washington residents who consume cannabis 21 or more times a month reported having dabbed hash oil within the past year.
  • 77.8% of Washington residents who reported using cannabis within the last year had consumed cannabis-infused edibles.
  • Available information suggests that lower-potency forms of cannabis account for only a small amount of the Washington market, probably a smaller share than they do nationwide, and indicates that it is probable that cannabis in Washington is, on average, of higher potency than elsewhere in the United States, perhaps even higher than in neighboring states.

The study concludes by elaborating on how difficult it is to draw definitive conclusions from information provided through surveys where people are hesitant to self-report their own cannabis use, but states that If cannabis is less stigmatized, users may be more honest about their consumption.

Delta Extrax

– TheJointBlog

1 Comment

  • Dr. Beth Fisher
    December 19, 2013

    Interesting article. The last I knew was that Rosalie Liccardo Pacula (the last listed author of the report), stated that Cannabis wasn’t really a viable contributor to the global economy. (see L. Kohn’s article “Marijuana is NO Cash Cow”, )

    Given that most economists have their heads in the sand when it came to reporting actual economic numbers, Mr. Kohn’s spent considerable time researching his facts as well as the lame predictions of Pacula and the economic golden boy from the Cato Institute, Jeff Miron, who claims this about Cannabis, ““This is not a cash cow that can solve anyone’s fiscal problems,” (See

    So when you are ready for an honest report, check out Lory Kohn; he is the pot economist you want to read. The others are posers taking money from the think tanks and under reporting the real numbers of the emerging Cannabis Industry.

    This year (2013), I have extensively traveled to MMJ and RMJ states (as well as compared them to non mmj states) to understand more about “The State of Cannabis in America.” I have gone into homes, health facilities (hospitals, long tern care, hospices), businesses, and dispensaries; talked with CEOs of Cannabis industries; and shared precious remaining moments and “presents” with cancer patients in non mmj states. The point is, Cannabis is a billion dollar industry that has and will change the course of our sinking economy and our pitiful health care system.

    Looking forward to November 2014 to watch the “poly tongued” switch sides as they try to collect “contributions” from the Cannabis industry. Can’t wait to see the antics! Silly politicians, do you really think you can block Cannabis legislation, take graft from big pharma and private prison corporation AND think it won’t come back to you at election time?

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