The Arizona medical marijuana program reached a record breaking high in 2018 with patients consuming nearly 61 tons of cannabis products, according to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program Report released by the state Department of Health Services on Monday, January 14. That amount is equivalent to almost 122,000 pounds, or about nine African Bush Elephants.
Including all types of products for all methods of consumption, the report only separates them into three main categories — marijuana, marijuana edibles, and marijuana other. The “marijuana” category covers flower. “Marijuana edibles” describes anything ingestible like food or beverages and tinctures, and “marijuana other” describes vape cartridges, topicals and concentrates.
The “marijuana” category in the report reveals that flower was the most popular product sold in the Copper State last year with 111,830.93 pounds being consumed by registered patients. “Marijuana edibles” account for 4,983.35 pounds, and 5,101.50 pounds were considered “marijuana other.”
Voters in Arizona approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) in 2010, taking rank as the 14th state to enact the legalization of medical cannabis. AMMA went into effect on April 14, 2011, and the program has grown like a weed in the nearly eight years it has been running. For example, just less than 2.5 tons of marijuana edibles were sold in 2018 alone, which is the same amount as all of the medical cannabis products combined that were consumed by patients in the entire year of 2012.
The number of registered medical marijuana patients has also grown exponentially since 2012 when there were only approximately 40,000 patients. In 2018, there were 189,017 registered patients in the state. Only 2,613 registered patients and caregivers are approved to cultivate at home, which explains the huge demand for store bought products.
The largest age groups for patients in Arizona were 18 to 30 years, accounting for 51,637 people, and 31 to 40 years with 40,959 people. Only 202 registered patients were younger than 18, and 1,858 card holders were 81 or older. 118,767 patients were male, and 79,250 were female.