Study looks at marijuana demand in Washington

By By GENE JOHNSON

SEATTLE (AP) — Figuring out how much marijuana people use has been one of the trickiest questions facing the bureaucrats who are setting up Washington state's new legal pot system.

Now, researchers working with the state's official pot consultant think they have their best look yet at cannabis consumption in Washington. A RAND Corp. team figures that Washington's roughly 750,000 marijuana users will have consumed around 175 metric tons of pot in 2013.

That's more than twice what the state estimated before voters approved Washington's legal weed law last year. But officials have been aware since June that RAND's researchers were headed toward the higher number, and they say the new study won't require any sudden changes.

Sales are expected to begin in Washington late next spring. In Colorado, the other state to legalize adult use of marijuana, stores are due to open Jan. 1.

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