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Demand for marijuana outpaces legal supply; black market filling gap

Eric Benevento examines marijuana buds in the curing room at Medicine Man, a marijuana dispensary and retailer, in Denver on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. Policymakers in Colorado are considering changes to the state's production limits on legal marijuana to combat the sale of pot in unregulated markets.

Regulators may examine legal marijuana production caps to curb black market sales
After seven months of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, the newest goal of state regulators is to increase the amount of marijuana produced and sold by legal retailers. “Right now we are pretty significantly under what should be produced,” said Ron Kammerzell, deputy senior director of enforcement for the state Department of Revenue. “What that does is raises the prices and if the price is too high, then we can’t compete with the black market and that was our ultimate goal with Amendment 64 – we wanted to eliminate the black market,” Kammerzell said. But new data comparing demand for marijuana in Colorado with legal supply suggests that criminal enterprises could continue to flourish. In a report commissioned by the Marijuana Enforcement Division earlier this year, data show that Colorado residents and visitors will consume an estimated 130.3 metric tons of marijuana in 2014, but only about 77 metric tons will come from legal medical or recreational outlets. Continue Reading →

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