16 Sep 2016

August Medical Marijuana Program Statistics

16 Sep 2016

August Medical Marijuana Program StatisticsThe August Medical Marijuana Program Statistics are provided by DC’s Dept. of Health. You can see the total number of patients registered, their gender and in which ward they live.  

August Medical Marijuana Program Statistics

3,986 patients and 33 caregivers have registered with DC’s Medical Marijuana Program since 2014. In the last month, DC added 43 new patients, 2 caregivers, and 2 physicians. The number of cultivation centers (7) and dispensaries (5) remains unchanged.

Statistical Insights for Marketers/Business Owners

August’s numbers suck, plain and simple — a 65% drop in registered patients compared to the previous month. At this time last year, DC had 4,212 residents with legal access to medical cannabis. (I can only guess that the numbers are dwindling because patients are not renewing their licenses. If you know, please leave a comment.)

Knowing only that I know nothing, I looked for a statistic that would give me a bit of perspective. Perhaps my expectations are too high (among other things) for DC. Turns out, the answer is maybe.

patients-per-k-nationally

According to ProCon.org, an organization tracking the number of “legal medical marijuana patients” in the U.S., the average is 8.06 per thousand statewide residents. According to this group, the District has 5.12 card-carrying residents per thousand. Like most averages, this is both helpful and misleading; the top 6 states in the U.S. have more than 19 patients per thousand on average. Those states include the obvious: Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington; but there’s also Michigan and Maine. With the exception of California (for now), all of these states also allow for legal recreational use (while not statewide, both Maine and Michigan have cities that legalized REC). One would think that the ratio of MMJ patients per thousand residents would be lower, not higher if everyone has access.

Unfortunately, REC is legal in the District but residents don’t have access to cannabis because it can neither be purchased nor sold. If Congress didn’t mandate this Catch-22, would the number of patients increase like those other states? Or is there another force at play? And I would love your thoughts on this!

Analysis of earlier months can be found in the archives (helpful for trending data on gender and wards with the greatest number of patients). You can view the two-page report from this month here.

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