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Beginning January 1 2014, establishments licensed by the state of Colorado began commercial sales of marijuana to the general public, leading cannabis industry stock values to skyrocket by about 150 percent. While the stock boom was over that same spring, according to Bloomberg, legal marijuana market was still the fastest growing industry in the US in 2014. As stated in the ArcView Market Research report, the US market for legal cannabis grew by 74 percent from $1.3 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014 (see "Cannabis sales in 2014" chart below).

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 12 percent of the US population aged 12 or older smoked marijuana on a regular basis during the past year. Among young adults aged 18 to 20 this figure increased to 32 percent. The most active weed users live in the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Alaska, Vermont, Oregon, and Colorado, according to the same survey.

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