Arizona has 96.2 percent of the population living within 25 miles of an operating Medical marijuana dispensary, according to a new state report released Thursday. Medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Arizona bought approximately 2.7 tons of cannabis last year, and spent about $33 million.
The report was compiled by the state Department of Health Services, which oversees the medical marijuana program. It provides information on qualifying patients, caregivers and dispensary agents from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013. During that time, there were 44,675 active cardholders and 71 dispensaries were open and became operational during the 2013 calendar year in the state.
This is the first time, we have a report that quantifies how much marijuana patients are legally purchasing. Approximately 70 percent of the qualifying patients were males and 30 percent female. On average, male patients were younger (42.77 years) compared to female patients (46.55 years) and the age profile of the caregivers was similar to that of qualifying patients.
On average, patients made 10 transactions for the entire year, ranging from a minimum of one transaction to a maximum of 314 transactions. Five dispensaries accounted for 40% of the total marijuana sold, although state confidentiality laws prohibited the state from identifying the dispensaries. Each qualifying patient is able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.
Patients between 18 – 30 years old had the highest number of transactions, followed by patients ages 31 – 40, then patients ages between 51 – 60 years. On average, in Arizona there were six qualifying patients per 1000 residents in 2013. These counties had the highest number of qualified patient cardholders based on 2013 population estimates: Yavapai (14.0 per 1000), Gila (12.6 per 1000) Coconino (11.7 per 1000), and Mohave County (10.6 per 1000 residents).
There were 422,495 transactions to 40,878 cardholders that resulted in a sale of 95,263.09 \ounces and/or 2,700.66kg (2.7 tons) of marijuana. With an estimated store price of $350 an ounce results in approximately $33 million in yearly revenue.
The report reiterated previous data, which showed most patients claim “severe and chronic pain” as a medical condition that qualified them to buy, possess and use marijuana. Arizona’s medical-marijuana program, narrowly approved by voters in 2010, allows people with certain debilitating medical conditions to use marijuana. They must obtain a recommendation from a physician and register with the state, which issues identification cards to qualified patients and caregivers.
To read the full report click here: AMMA 2013 End of Year Report