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Medical marijuana sales tripled in 2014, state says

Medical marijuana sales tripled in 2014, state says

Arizona's latest medical marijuana report released last week shows dispensary sales tripled last year over 2013.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says dispensaries sold more than nine metric tons (about 10 U.S. tons) of marijuana in 2014 for an estimated gross revenue of about $110 million.

There were 1.4 million individual sales in 2014 (among the 55,000 patients), with an average of 26 transactions per patient per year, state health director Will Humble wrote in a recent blog.

The average patient bought 166 grams of marijuana in 2014. Humble says that’s an average of one joint per patient per day last year.

Transaction data is broken down by age group in the report. Patients in the 18 to 30 age range had more transactions and sales than any other age group, representing 26 percent of total sales.

Humble says Fridays are the busiest day of the week at dispensaries, and New Year’s Eve was the busiest sales day in 2014.

"The large increase in sales at dispensaries is probably because fewer patients were authorized to cultivate their own marijuana in 2014 (compared to 2013)," Humble writes.

"The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allows patients that live further than 25 miles from a dispensary to cultivate their own marijuana. Now that we have more than 85 dispensaries operating throughout the state, about 98 percent of patients live within 25 miles of a dispensary, and very few patients are now allowed to self-cultivate."

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