Estimating the Quasi-Underground
This study looks at the size of the informal marijuana economy in Oregon. It found that the average user consumes 4.5 ounces/year at $177/ounce. Most sales of the drug are made between friends, and one third of sellers sell smaller quantities to friends and families, usually making less than $10,000. The study suggests that because the informal marijuana economy is a “robust network,” legalization will likely increase economic inequality by shutting out smaller producers. While the study suggests marijuana’s contribution to Oregon’s revenue would be modest, the state would benefit the most from savings through the criminal justice system.