Researchers working with Washington state’s official marijuana consultant think they have their best look yet at cannabis consumption in the state, aided by a novel survey aimed at figuring out how much the heaviest users of marijuana burn on a typical day, reports the Associated Press. In a study out yesterday, a RAND Corp. team figured that Washington’s 750,000 marijuana users will have consumed between 135 and 225 metric tons of the drug in 2013.
The median figure is 175 metric tons. That’s enough for around 340 million joints, and more than twice what the state estimated before voters approved Washington’s legal weed law last year. “That’s the ballpark of what we’re looking at with our system,” said Brian Smith of the state Liquor Control Board, the agency charged with regulating marijuana in Washington. Washington and Colorado have legalized the possession of marijuana by adults, and both states are setting up systems of state-licensed growers, processors and retail stores where taxed pot will be available. Sales are expected to begin Jan. 1 in Colorado and late spring in Washington. The U.S. Justice Department is allowing the experiments to proceed as long as the states keep pot away from the black market and children.