With more and more states legalizing marijuana, it wouldn't be surprising to know people are also buying cannabis more than ever. But it may be surprising to know how much of it is happening online.
A new study examined how much marijuana sales are conducted online. The researchers looked at U.S. Google search results for anything related to buying marijuana from January 2005 to June 2017. They found that marijuana purchasing search results increased 199 percent more than other searches. All but two states saw an increase in marijuana purchasing searches every single month of the study. By last June, there were 2.4 million cannabis buying searches in the United States.
Of course, this can't be good news for states. Even though there are several states with legalized recreational marijuana, none of them allow online purchasing of cannabis. This is mainly because it would be much harder for them to tax, and therefore online buying would lower the amount of revenue they could generate.
But could it be this isn't really that big of a deal? Since 2005, many states have legalized medical marijuana as well as several that allow recreational sales. So wouldn't it also make sense that search results for buying marijuana would increase, as customers look for information about possibly buying legal marijuana?
The researchers in the study seem to think that this increase in sales means there are more people buying cannabis illegally on the black market, but that may not necessarily be the case. It could just be more people trying to get informed on the topic. Sure, there probably are more people buying marijuana online, but that doesn't mean it's really any worse than doing so from a dealer on the street.