Colorado’s Marijuana Black Market Is More Complicated Than It Looks


Depending on whom you ask, Colorado’s marijuana black market has either vanished or expanded since weed was legalized in the state. Mexican pot farmers have anecdotally said they’re taking a beating, but one illegal Colorado drug dealer told The Washington Post that his business was growing. So which is it?

Turns out that’s a tough question to answer. A comprehensive market analysis, released by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division in July, looked at supply and demand in the state’s marijuana market, but the report did not offer granular detail about the supply side.

So The Huffington Post spoke exclusively with Adam Orens, one of the lead researchers on the analysis, who broke down the supply side numbers — including the current best guess on the size of the black market.

The report released last month is likely the world’s first post-legalization study of a marijuana marketplace. It was prepared by the Marijuana Policy Group, a collaborative effort of BBC Research & Consulting — Orens’ employer — and the University of Colorado, Boulder, Business Research Division.