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Colorado Cannabis Facts

Updated on June 28, 2021.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Colorado Medical Marijuana Facts

Colorado boasts more cannabis dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonalds combined, but there is only one dispensary near the Denver airport.

The regulated cannabis industry in Colorado supports over 40,000 jobs from farmers to retailers, it accounts for 5.5 percent of Colorado’s employment growth, and it has so far contributed over $800 million in tax revenue, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

There is a 10 percent sales tax to retail marijuana on top of the state’s 2.9 percent standard sales tax rate. In addition, a 15 percent excise tax was added to the wholesale price of retail marijuana (between cultivators and businesses). These taxes don’t apply to medical marijuana. 

In 2012, Colorado voters made history by approving an amendment to the state constitution to allow the legal sale of marijuana for recreational use. But Colorado marijuana facts are different from the perceptions many people have.

For example, cannabis is heavily regulated in the state, to the point where each plant sold has to be tagged with a radio frequency ID chip so it can be tracked. Whether cannabis is infused in edibles or other products or if it remains in plant form, it has to be sold in child-resistant packaging and regularly tested for both contaminants and potency.

Colorado voters approved Ballot Amendment 20, on November 07, 2000, which established the Colorado medical marijuana program and set up a regulatory framework that effectively removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana, for patients who have been issued a written recommendation from their certified physician, advising that he or she may “benefit from the medical use of marijuana”.

Colorado patients and their caregivers may possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana, and more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants.

Medical Marijuana Facts for Colorado

Medical marijuana recommendations have been signed by over 1,100 Colorado doctors.

The average age of all Colorado marijuana patients is 41.
68% of applicants approved for a medical marijuana card in Colorado are male.

According to the registry’s cannabis facts, more than half of all Colorado patients, 55%, are concentrated in the Denver-metro area which encompasses the counties of Denver, Boulder, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson and Broomfield. The other 45% is more evenly spread throughout the state.

All of the conditions covered under Colorado’s medical marijuana law are represented by patients on the registry. Here, medical marijuana facts for Colorado indicate that 94% of patients report severe pain as a condition; the next most reported condition is muscle spasm, at 18%. The marijuana statistics go over 100% because many patients have multiple qualifying conditions.

63% of Colorado patients have designated a primary caregiver. A caregiver is a person responsible for managing the care of an individual with a debilitating condition, who may otherwise be unable to get their medical marijuana.

The magazine also reported the number of retail locations selling recreational pot jumped from 156 to 306 during the same period of time. The increase led to an additional $313 million in sales. When combined with medical marijuana sales, the plant accounted for a total of approximately $700 million.

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If you would like to stay updated on medical marijuana facts for Colorado as well as the rest of the country, check with often, and we’ll keep you updated.

Colorado Marijuana Statistics and Facts: Medical Marijuana Conditions

Reported Condition Number of Patients Reporting Condition Percent of Patients Reporting Condition
Cachexia 1,462 1%
Cancer 2,552 2%
Glaucoma 996 1%
HIV/AIDS 588 1%
Muscle Spasms 18,610 18%
Seizures 1,579 2%
Severe Pain 96,326 94%
Severe Nausea 12,468 12%

Colorado Marijuana Statistics and Facts: Age and Sex of Marijuana Patient

Sex Percent on Registry Average Age**
Male 68% 40
Female 32% 43

Colorado Marijuana Statistics and Facts: Marijuana Patients by County

County Number of Patients Percent of Patients
Adams 6,897 7%
Alamosa 324 <1%
Arapahoe 9,090 9%
Archuleta 373 <1%
Baca 52 <1%
Bent 41 <1%
Boulder 9,435 9%
Broomfield 1,041 1%
Chaffee 577 1%
Cheyenne 27 <1%
Clear Creek 426 <1%
Conejos 123 <1%
Costilla 154 <1%
Crowley 64 <1%
Custer 96 <1%
Delta 734 1%
Denver 15,148 15%
Dolores 77 <1%
Douglas 3,291 3%
Eagle 1,127 1%
El Paso 12,521 12%
Elbert 334 <1%
Fremont 1,038 1%
Garfield 1,478 1%
Gilpin 383 <1%
Grand 332 <1%
Gunnison 439 <1%
Hinsdale 16 <1%
Huerfano 183 <1%
Jackson 19 <1%
Jefferson 11,269 11%
Kiowa 13 <1%
Kit Carson 55 <1%
La Plata 1,779 2%
Lake 214 <1%
Larimer 6,022 6%
Las Animas 246 <1%
Lincoln 39 <1%
Logan 190 <1%
Mesa 2,874 3%
Mineral 12 <1%
Moffat 218 <1%
Montezuma 631 1%
Montrose 826 1%
Morgan 166 <1%
Otero 188 <1%
Ouray 146 <1%
Park 727 1%
Phillips 25 <1%
Pitkin 764 1%
Prowers 90 <1%
Pueblo 2,520 2%
Rio Blanco 79 <1%
Rio Grande 172 <1%
Routt 984 1%
Saguache 230 <1%
San Juan 32 <1%
San Miguel 489 <1%
Sedgwick 19 <1%
Summit 1,078 1%
Teller 935 1%
Washington 46 <1%
Weld 3,597 4%
Yuma 77 <1%
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Finally, a helpful & informative website! answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO