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Study: Marijuana consumers spend more than $100 per month on legal pot

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Officials who say recreational marijuana can help close budget holes may be on to something.

The average consumer of legal recreational marijuana spends $111.05 per month on marijuana products, according to a new LendEDU poll of 1,000 consumers.

Of them, 27.6 percent of respondents said they spend more money per month on marijuana than on eating out, the study found. LendEDU is a New Jersey-based online marketplace for student loans and other financing topics.

"The point to be made is that in states where marijuana has become recreationally legal, the consumption of the drug has become both a priority and lifestyle choice," LendEDU research analyst Mike Brown wrote, adding that more than 50 percent of consumers surveyed actually include marijuana expenditures in their monthly budgets.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale urged state officials here to follow suit, arguing that it could generate at least $200 million in annual revenue, in addition to reducing the costs and social stigma of marijuana-related arrests.

Colorado saw $129 million in tax revenue on $1 billion in marijuana sales last year, DePasquale said. Given that Colorado's population is less than half the size of Pennsylvania's, DePasquale called his calculation of $200 million in annual revenue a "conservative" estimate of how much Harrisburg might pull in.

So far, however, DePasquale's suggestion remains only a pipe dream — despite efforts by State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery County) to advance recreational marijuana legislation.

In the meanwhile, as the LendEDU study pointed out, consumer spending on legalized pot continues to bloom amid a highly competitive retail landscape.

"Because of an over-saturated market where marijuana retail stores are as common as the Golden Arches of McDonalds, people have more access to make purchases than at any other point in history," Brown wrote. "This access has simultaneously led to more consumers buying more cannabis products, but at a cheaper price thanks to competition and less costs for the marijuana retailers."

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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Deb C. October 18, 2017 9:07 am

Well said Jim C.

mark October 17, 2017 8:33 am

Well, I guess $100 per month isn't bad... considering that using DoJ estimates of marijuana smuggled into the US and their estimated prices of said marijuana indicated that the average user of illicit foreign marijuana was spending more than $5000 per year on their buzz.

Jim C October 13, 2017 11:52 am

Does no one see a problem with people claiming to "budget" for marijuana use? People are being dumbed down and the government is pushing it hard, for more tax revenue! How about all our government entities learn to live within their means instead this constant search for more revenue! Wait then how would they gain deeper control? Just sayin'.

Ben James October 12, 2017 12:05 pm

The most dangerous thing about cannabis is running into lazy cops looking for soft targets instead of fighting real crime. Data from the Center for Disease Control makes it absolutely clear that cannabis is far safer to consume than booze or tobacco.

It is about time for our government to get over “Reefer Madness” and remove cannabis from the DEA drug schedule.

“Medical “Cannabis has been legal throughout the state of California since 1996. Cannabis is now COMPLETELY LEGAL in California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC!

29 US states have legalized cannabis for “medical use”. Uruguay and Jamaica are now completely legal, Canada will go fully legal in 2018 and Mexico is moving toward full legalization.

Cannabis prohibition criminalizes people for selecting a product that is much safer than alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. Cannabis prohibition is a ridiculous waste of police, court resources and taxpayer funds!!

According to FBI statistics:

100 BILLION a year is currently being spent on “black market” recreational cannabis in the USA and all that money goes to “criminals”.

30 BILLION is lost annually in potential tax revenue.

15 BILLION a year is spent enforcing draconian cannabis laws that make no sense and destroy people's lives daily.

Data from the Center for Disease Control shows that cannabis is much safer than booze or tobacco!!

Legalize, regulate and TAX!

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