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Cannabis and Medical Medical Marijuana Statistics 2016-2017



Posted
Samantha Perkins
Jan. 12, 2017

Medical Marijuana Statistics 2017

The medical marijuana industry is the fastest growing industry in the United States. Currently, 24 states and the District of Columbia have at least some sort of medical marijuana law in place. As more states legalize the record sales of medical marijuana statistics will show, the industry will continue to grow exponentially. Statistical data is of interest to those following the growth trends and is helpful in determining patterns as well as predicting possible future trends.

Who uses medical marijuana?
 
Colorado has the highest number of medical marijuana patients, followed by Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, and the state of California. As of November 2016, the state of Colorado has 100,503 active patients, although 342,976 applications have been received since the legalization. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the average medical marijuana user in Colorado is 44 years old, but children and the elderly are documented patients as well. (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/CHED_MMR_Monthly_Report_NOV_2016.pdf)

Who prescribes medical marijuana?
 
In an international survey of physicians, 76% of doctors worldwide approve the use of medical marijuana for patients. In Colorado just in the month of November 2016 alone, 148 different physicians prescribed medical marijuana for their patients. There are limitations to who can prescribe medical marijuana, however. For example, in the state of Minnesota, licensed physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses who are enrolled in the medical cannabis registry can prescribe the drug. Just as the number of patients has increased, so has the number of prescribing physicians.

Why do patients use medical marijuana?
There are many conditions that will qualify someone to use medical marijuana. The most common conditions reported on the application by medical marijuana users are: cancer, glaucoma, seizures, muscle spasms, severe nausea, severe pain, and HIV/AIDS. While use by children under the age of 18 is minimal, nearly all of those patients are using medical marijuana to treat seizures. In the state of Minnesota, the most common reason given on the application for medical marijuana was intractable pain. (http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/update1016.pdf) According to the New England Journal of Medicine, published in 2013, 92% of medical marijuana users said that it helped their symptoms. (https://www.trendstatistics.com/health/6-medical-marijauna-facts-infographic-cannabis-statistics-2016/)

Marijuana is not a new drug. Medical professionals have known of its healing properties for years, but it has only recently become a legally-available alternative to pharmaceutical medicine. With its increase in both popularity and acceptability, the medical marijuana industry will continue to grow at staggering rates, all while helping patients get the relief they desperately need.
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