🌿 Where is the best weed city in 2023?
Portland dethroned Denver as the best weed city in 2023. Residents enjoy the least expensive cannabis in the country, with a high-quality ounce costing just $210 — $106 less than the national average ($316).
Best Weed Cities, Ranked | 15 Best Weed Cities | America’s Favorite Weed Cities | 10 Worst Weed Cities | Rankings by Category | Methodology
America’s cities are going to pot. But that’s not a bad thing if you’re among the 70% of adults who have used cannabis for recreational purposes at least once in their lifetime.
Over the past three decades, 38 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, with 20 states and the District of Columbia giving residents the green light to smoke for recreational purposes.
As marijuana legalization rolls on across the country, canna connoisseurs can enjoy their newfound freedom at a growing number of dispensaries, consumption lounges, and weed-infused experiences. However, progress is still blunted in many U.S. cities.
To that end, we partnered with Leafly, the leading online cannabis discovery marketplace and resource for cannabis consumers, to find the best places for stoners to live in 2023.
“When you’re thinking about where to go next, look at how the local government handles cannabis,” said David Downs, senior content manager at Leafly. “Cannabis liberalization and regulatory innovation tracks with good governance. It’s a litmus test for democracy and other issues.”
To determine the best weed cities, we analyzed data from Leafly, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Google Trends, Price of Weed, and Yelp.
Our weighted rankings evaluated various criteria, including:
- 10x: Legality
- 6x: Cannabis-prescribing doctors per 100,000 residents
- 5x: Dispensaries per 100,000 residents
- 5x: Average rating of dispensaries out of 5 stars
- 4x: Site visitors to Leafly
- 3x: Price of 1 ounce of high-quality weed
- 3x: Affordability of high-quality weed
- 2x: Price of 1 ounce of medium-quality weed
- 2x: Affordability of medium-quality weed
- 2x: Number of head shops per 100,000 residents
- 2x: Google Trends data for 12 common marijuana-related search terms
- 1x: Number of Taco Bells per 100,000 residents
- 1x: Concert venues per 100,000 residents
- 1x: Number of local hiking trails according to the AllTrails database
- 1x: Public perception score
Find out if your city is pretty dope or a total buzzkill.
✌️ Weed City Statistics
- Portland, Oregon, is the best place for stoners to live in 2023.
- Portland may top our list, but more than half of Americans (58%) think Los Angeles is the most weed-friendly city, followed by San Diego (45%) and Sacramento (42%).
- Baltimore is the most improved weed city, rising from No. 25 to No. 5 after Maryland residents voted to legalize cannabis for recreational use in November 2022.
- Among cities where marijuana is legal for recreational use, Richmond, Virginia, is ranked the lowest, followed by Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C.
- The most affordable cannabis prices are in Portland, where a high-quality ounce costs $210 — $106 less than the average price ($316).
- For the second year in a row, the most expensive weed is in Washington, D.C. An ounce of high-quality cannabis costs $590 — 87% more than the average price.
- Although cannabis is only legal for medicinal use, Oklahoma City has the most dispensaries with 48.7 per 100,000 residents — nearly 16x more than the average city (3.1).
- Oklahoma City also has the most cannabis-prescribing doctors with 2 per 100,000 residents — 6x the studied city average (0.3).
- With 19.4 Taco Bells per 100,000 residents, San Jose, California, ensures stoners don’t go hungry.
- Birmingham, Alabama, is the worst place for stoners to live in 2023.
- 1 in 4 Americans (25%) agree that it is the least weed-friendly city.
The 50 Best Weed Cities, Ranked
|Rank||City||Legal Status||Cannabis Doctors / 100K Residents||Dispensaries / 100K Residents||Avg. Dispensary Rating||Avg. Price: High-Quality Weed||Avg. Price: Mid-Quality Weed||High-Quality Ounces Purchased on Yearly Salary||Mid-Quality Ounces Purchased on Yearly Salary||Leafly Visitors*||Pot Passion**||Head Shops / 100K Residents||Taco Bells / 100K Residents||Trails||Music Venues||Public Perception Score***|
|–||National Average||Varies by State||0.3||3.1||3.7||$316||$252||206||257||36||73||0.9||6.3||70||88||-|
|1||Portland, OR||Fully Legal||0.1||13.7||4.5||$210||$187||298||335||72||68||1.0||11.2||209||105||9%|
|2||Denver, CO||Fully Legal||0.3||11.5||4.4||$242||$210||289||332||35||74||2.1||11.0||72||136||27%|
|3||Buffalo, NY||Fully Legal||0.5||3.0||4.6||$270||$226||207||247||61||90||1.2||3.6||25||56||4%|
|4||Seattle, WA||Fully Legal||0.1||4.8||4.5||$248||$201||324||400||36||80||0.4||4.6||85||116||10%|
|5||Baltimore, MD||Fully Legal||1.2||2.4||4.5||$330||$258||202||259||45||94||0.6||3.2||23||73||4%|
|6||Las Vegas, NV||Fully Legal||0.3||3.1||4.4||$279||$244||184||210||39||77||2.8||15.5||185||56||12%|
|7||Sacramento, CA||Fully Legal||0.0||4.1||4.6||$259||$209||239||296||26||79||1.0||11.7||28||48||42%|
|8||San Diego, CA||Fully Legal||0.2||2.2||4.6||$270||$240||245||276||22||84||1.7||12.3||133||72||45%|
|9||Los Angeles, CA||Fully Legal||0.1||3.0||4.5||$259||$209||270||334||23||70||0.9||5.2||140||165||58%|
|10||San Francisco, CA||Fully Legal||0.1||4.3||4.5||$280||$223||434||545||25||69||0.6||5.8||90||162||41%|
|11||Boston, MA||Fully Legal||0.2||3.0||4.4||$337||$276||254||311||41||93||0.8||2.9||31||122||5%|
|12||San Jose, CA||Fully Legal||0.1||1.6||4.2||$259||$209||429||531||23||72||2.0||19.4||77||63||26%|
|13||Phoenix, AZ||Fully Legal||0.2||2.5||4.3||$292||$235||178||221||100||64||0.4||5.5||238||103||24%|
|14||Detroit, MI||Fully Legal||0.3||2.4||4.5||$293||$236||199||247||31||66||0.2||2.3||9||244||6%|
|15||Hartford, CT||Fully Legal||0.6||1.0||3.7||$332||$280||203||241||62||82||2.1||4.5||3||56||7%|
|16||Providence, RI||Fully Legal||0.1||2.0||4.2||$311||$255||196||239||57||86||0.9||4.6||12||72||2%|
|17||St. Louis, MO||Fully Legal||0.6||2.9||4.5||$358||$297||170||205||30||93||0.5||3.6||50||75||3%|
|18||Oklahoma City, OK||Medicinal||2.0||48.7||4.5||$336||$258||157||204||42||91||0.9||9.2||33||58||3%|
|19||Riverside, CA||Fully Legal||0.0||3.1||4.5||$259||$209||175||217||20||66||0.6||4.5||52||26||11%|
|20||Chicago, IL||Fully Legal||0.3||0.9||4.2||$343||$292||197||232||41||70||0.4||4.5||90||141||8%|
|21||New York, NY||Fully Legal||0.2||0.6||3.4||$336||$270||245||305||47||64||0.5||3.6||120||256||10%|
|22||Kansas City, MO||Fully Legal||0.4||4.1||3.2||$352||$274||165||212||35||70||0.4||6.5||59||63||4%|
|23||Washington DC||Fully Legal||0.5||1.2||4.4||$590||$495||130||155||45||62||0.8||3.7||71||155||10%|
|24||Virginia Beach, VA||Fully Legal||0.3||0.3||4.6||$363||$289||147||184||48||86||1.3||3.4||44||36||5%|
|31||Richmond, VA||Fully Legal||0.2||0.5||4.1||$355||$278||172||220||53||74||0.5||7.3||27||39||4%|
|35||Austin, TX||CBD Oil Only||0.2||1.1||1.9||$326||$264||199||246||36||69||1.9||12.9||134||134||2%|
|36||Salt Lake City, UT||Medicinal||0.3||0.6||1.4||$275||$235||211||247||25||57||1.2||8.4||193||43||5%|
|37||Raleigh, NC||Fully Illegal||0.0||0.9||4.6||$257||$276||237||221||25||58||0.9||6.8||78||86||2%|
|38||New Orleans, LA||Medicinal||0.7||0.5||2.8||$357||$256||162||226||27||67||1.0||9.8||15||82||8%|
|39||Dallas, TX||CBD Oil Only||0.2||1.2||1.8||$323||$249||191||247||29||82||0.3||3.6||52||122||3%|
|41||San Antonio, TX||CBD Oil Only||0.2||1.6||1.9||$323||$249||155||201||33||67||0.8||9.5||112||63||3%|
|42||Atlanta, GA||CBD Oil Only||0.0||0.6||2.8||$318||$243||185||242||36||73||0.5||2.5||61||91||8%|
|43||Houston, TX||CBD Oil Only||0.1||0.6||2.1||$314||$234||191||256||27||59||0.5||4.1||87||79||3%|
|44||Charlotte, NC||Fully Illegal||0.0||0.9||4.1||$330||$282||172||201||45||67||0.6||4.5||79||83||3%|
|45||Nashville, TN||CBD Oil Only||0.0||0.8||3.7||$343||$261||181||238||23||70||0.7||7.4||36||148||2%|
|46||Indianapolis, IN||CBD Oil Only||0.0||0.4||1.3||$334||$228||181||265||27||68||0.7||7.2||53||102||4%|
|47||Milwaukee, WI||CBD Oil Only||0.0||1.1||3.5||$327||$280||185||216||22||70||0.8||7.4||45||58||4%|
|48||Louisville, KY||CBD Oil Only||0.2||0.2||0.0||$336||$229||166||243||20||64||0.6||9.1||51||58||4%|
|49||Memphis, TN||CBD Oil Only||0.2||0.7||3.9||$343||$261||149||196||22||72||0.4||4.2||38||64||2%|
The 15 Best Weed Cities
1. Portland, Oregon
💪 High and Mighty
Portland has 13.7 dispensaries per 100,000 residents — nearly 4.5x more than the average city on our list (3.1).
Portland is known as the City of Roses, but it’s perhaps more famous for a different kind of flower. The city has emerged as the Promised Land of pot with more dispensaries per capita (13.7) than any other city in the top 15 and the second-most overall behind Oklahoma City (48.7).
Although Oregon was three years behind Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana, Portland has surpassed Denver, last year’s No. 1 city, as the best place for stoners to live in 2023.
Potlanders enjoy the cheapest weed prices in the country. An ounce of medium-quality cannabis costs just $187, which is $65 less than the average price among all 50 cities studied ($252). High-quality cannabis is even more affordable. An ounce is $210 — $106 less than the average price ($316).
At those prices, locals and tourists alike can splurge on dope experiences, such as a weed and waterfalls tour or a local concert at one of the city’s 105 music venues — 19% more than the average city (88). Portland also has nearly 3x the number of hiking trails (209) as the studied city average (70).
As a renowned dining city, Portland also has plenty of cannabis cafes and food tours to keep the munchies at bay, but some stoners may prefer to get Baja Blasted at their local Taco Bell. The good news for weed enthusiasts is that Portland has 77% more Taco Bells than the average city, with 11.2 per 100,00 residents, compared to 6.3 in the average city.
“Portland makes sense as No. 1,” Downs said. “It has a large number of dispensaries per capita, rock-bottom prices, and all-star genetics. Portland’s cup runneth over.”
2. Denver, Colorado
🗻 Rocky Mountain High
At $242 an ounce, Denver has the second-lowest price for high-quality cannabis among all 50 cities studied.
As a trailblazer in the cannabis industry, it’s no surprise Denver landed a spot on our pot podium. Its reputation is well known, with more than 1 in 4 Americans (27%) saying it’s one of the top five weed-friendly cities in the U.S.
Denver ranked above average in nearly all of our metrics but was simply outperformed by Portland, causing it to slip from last year’s top position.
“I can see why it might be second simply because of the altitude,” Downs said. “It’s really dry, and cannabis is an agricultural product that needs to stay adequately hydrated. Portland’s flower might be a tad more fresh, but Denver has excelled in the extract base.”
In the decade since recreational weed was legalized, Denver has experienced a Green Rush of canna-curious visitors eager to experience the city’s marijuana tours and wide variety of artisanal dispensaries. With 11.5 dispensaries per 100,000 residents, Denver has over 3.5x more marijuana retailers than the average city (3.1).
In addition to having the second-most dispensaries in the top 15, the Mile High City has the second-most head shops, with 2.1 per 100,000 residents. That’s 2.5x more than the studied city average (0.9).
Denver matches quantity with quality. Its dispensaries earned 4.4 stars out of 5 on Leafly, which is 19% higher than average score (3.7).
3. Buffalo, New York
💨 Rising From the Smoke
Buffalo landed in our top three after jumping 14 spots from last year’s No. 17 ranking.
Buffalo has had a thriving medical marijuana industry for years with 0.5 cannabis-prescribing doctors per 100,000 residents — 79% more than the average city (0.3).
Now that weed is legal for recreational use in New York state, residents are excited about their city’s pot potential. Buffalo ranks No. 4 in site visits to Leafly.com and No. 6 in Google searches for cannabis-related terms.
Buffalo could have ranked even higher, but it was held back by a below-average number of dispensaries — 3 per 100,000 residents. However, the few that do exist are rated highly, earning 4.6 stars out of 5 on Leafly.
“Buffalo is the dark horse,” Downs said. “It’s still lagging in terms of dispensaries per capita, but New York is a real example of changes in legalization and the growth of personal cannabis freedoms.”
It may be challenging to get your hands on some green in Buffalo, but it’s not expensive. An ounce of medium-quality cannabis costs $226 — 10% less than the average price ($252). Meanwhile, a high-quality ounce is $270, which is 15% less than average ($316).
Dispensaries may be in short supply, but Buffalo does have 33% more head shops (1.2) than the average city (0.9).
4. Seattle, Washington
🪴 Dank Dynasty
Seattle has 56% more dispensaries than the average city, with 4.8 per 100,000 residents. That’s the third-most among cities in the top 15.
Washington and Colorado legalized recreational cannabis in the same year, making Seattle one of the OG weed cities in the U.S. Although Seattle lacks some of Denver’s fame — just 10% of Americans say it’s a top-five city for stoners — the Emerald City actually has better prices for stoners looking for a good deal.
Seattle has the second-cheapest rates for medium-quality cannabis behind only Portland. An ounce costs $201 — 20% less than the average price ($252).
With one year’s salary, residents can purchase 400 ounces of medium-quality cannabis — 56% more than the studied city average (257 ounces). That makes Seattle the third-most affordable city for medium-quality weed based on the price-to-income ratio.
5. Baltimore, Maryland
🩺 Marijuana Medics
With 1.2 cannabis-prescribing doctors per 100,000 residents, Baltimore has the most medical marijuana physicians in the top 15 and second most overall behind Oklahoma City (2).
Baltimore has just 2.4 dispensaries per 100,000 residents — 23% less than the average city (3.1). But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality, with a 4.5 average dispensary rating on Leafly.
Expect the number of dispensaries to grow like a weed in July, when residents can legally purchase and grow marijuana for recreational use. Demand is already high, with research from state lawmakers showing that Marylanders consume greater volumes of marijuana than other users across the country.
Baltimore residents, in particular, are especially passionate about pot. When a local dispensary dropped new strains, the line of giddy smokers stretched down the block and across the street. With such die-hard fans, it’s no surprise Baltimore ranks No. 2 in online search activity for marijuana-related search terms on Google.
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
♣️ Viva Pot Vegas
Las Vegas ranks No. 1 for head shops with 2.8 per 100,000 residents — 3x more than the studied city average (0.9).
Las Vegas has long been the land of adult freedom, and now, marijuana is the latest luxury to indulge. Stoners don’t need to hit the jackpot at the casino to afford weed in Sin City, though. At $279 per ounce, high-quality cannabis costs 12% less than the national average ($316).
Americans agree that Las Vegas is an above-average city for stoners, with 1 in 8 respondents (12%) ranking it in their top five weed-friendly cities. As one of the world’s largest entertainment hubs, the city has a number of tourist activities, including weed tours, ganja gardens, and cannabis-themed restaurants.
The dispensaries in Las Vegas are destinations in and of themselves. NuWu Cannabis Marketplace and Planet 13, which plans to open the city’s first consumption lounge, are some of the largest in the world.
Las Vegas residents are ravenous for cannabis, even more so after partaking in the sweet leaf. Luckily, Vegas has 2x more Taco Bells per capita (15.5) than the average city (6.3). That’s the second-highest concentration on our list.
7. Sacramento, California
🌱 Best Buds
With an average dispensary rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 on Leafly, Sacramento is tied with San Diego for the highest-rated weed among the top 15 cities.
For the second year in a row, Sacramento shines as California’s best city for stoners. The capital city owes its success to the accessibility of marijuana, with 4.1 dispensaries per 100,000 residents. That’s 33% more than the average city (3.1).
Stoners eager to try the home-grown Mimosa strain don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. At $259 an ounce, high-quality cannabis cost 18% less than the average price ($316), and medium-quality cannabis ($209 per ounce) costs 17% less than average ($252).
“Sacramento is running away with the bag,” Downs said. “It’s got the perfect combo of labor, land, genetics, industrial cultivation expertise, and political alignment. It grows the world’s best cannabis and sells it at affordable prices.”
The capital city receives high marks for its affordable marijuana and its cheap eats. Sacramento has the fifth-highest concentration of Taco Bells, with 11.7 per 100,000 residents. That’s nearly 2x the studied city average (6.3).
8. San Diego, California
Stoners give San Diego dispensaries 4.6 stars out of 5. That score is 24% higher than the average among all cities studied (3.7).
The Emerald Triangle in Northern California is the state’s premier growing region, but this SoCal metropolis has some of the best weed in the U.S. San Diego dispensaries boast a 4.6 average rating on Leafly, which is tied with Sacramento for the highest score in California and the fourth-highest among all 50 cities studied.
“San Diego is the home of ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’ Of course it crushes it at weed,” Downs said.
With high-quality weed costing just $270 an ounce — 15% less than the average price — cannabis is surprisingly affordable in San Diego. Residents can purchase 245 ounces on the average annual salary — 19% more than the average amount among all 50 cities studied (206 ounces).
Thanks to low pot prices, residents have plenty left over to splurge on a craveable snack when the munchies attack. Stoners in San Diego won’t go hungry with nearly 2x the number of Taco Bells per capita (12.3) as the average city (6.3).
San Diego also has 2x the number of hiking trails (133) and 2x the number of head shops (1.7 per 100,000 residents) as the average city. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder 45% of Americans think San Diego is one of the best cities for stoners.
9. Los Angeles, California
🤩 That’s Grow Biz
Portland may top our list, but more than half of Americans (58%) think Los Angeles is the best city for stoners in the U.S.
Los Angeles lives up to its reputation as America’s favorite weed city by providing only the best products. Dispensaries in the City of Angels have an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Leafly — a score that’s 22% higher than the studied city average (3.7).
Far from smoke-filled stoner dens, L.A. dispensaries look more like chic Apple stores that carry far less expensive products. An ounce of medium-quality weed costs $209, which is 17% less than the national average ($252) and the fourth-cheapest price overall.
That makes Los Angeles the fifth-most affordable city for medium-quality weed based on the price-to-income ratio. Angelenos can buy 30% more cannabis (334 ounces) on the average yearly salary than in the average city (257 ounces).
As one of the top destinations for cannabis in the country, stoners will find no shortage of legendary strains, exotic edibles, and fresh experiences to elevate their trip. There’s perhaps no better place to pair movies and marijuana than at one of the city’s weed screenings.
For other classic pot pairings, Los Angeles has 2x the number of hiking trails (140) and music venues (165) as the average city.
10. San Francisco, California
🌿 Need for Weed
San Francisco residents can buy 545 ounces of medium-quality weed and 434 ounces of high-quality weed with their yearly salary, making it the most affordable city for marijuana based on the price-to-income ratio.
In 1992, Bay Area activists opened the United States’ first dispensary, the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club. Thanks to their pioneering efforts, the number of marijuana retailers has grown exponentially throughout the city. With 4.3 dispensaries per 100,000 residents, San Francisco has 40% more than the average city (3.1).
Weed is not only accessible in San Francisco, it’s affordable for most budgets. An ounce of medium-quality cannabis costs $223, and an ounce of high-quality cannabis costs $280 — both 12% lower than the national average.
Affordable prices doesn’t mean consumers will sacrifice quality, however. Marijuana retailers in San Francisco have an average rating of 4.5 stars on Leafly, which is 22% higher than the average rating (3.7).
San Francisco’s cannabis culture is well known, with 41% of Americans saying it is one of most friendly cities for stoners. There’s also no shortage of places to enjoy a high in San Francisco. The city has 90 nearby hiking trails — 29% more than the studied city average (70) — and nearly 2x more music venues (162) than the average city (88).
11. Boston, Massachusetts
🚬 Doobie Newbie
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Massachusetts since 2016, but this is the first time Boston has cracked our top 15, rising five spots from 2022.
Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to restrict access to cannabis in 1911, but more than a century later, the plant enjoys a fully legal status. Residents no longer have to trek to California to taste the very best weed. Boston dispensaries have an average rating of 4.4 stars on Leafly — 19% higher than the average rating (3.7).
In true New England fashion, cannabis can be expensive in Boston. An ounce of medium-quality weed costs $276 — about 10% more than the national average ($252).
But for Bostonians, that’s actually quite affordable. With the average annual salary, residents can purchase 311 ounces of medium-quality marijuana — 21% more than the average amount among all 50 cities studied (257 ounces).
Boston residents are passionate about their East Coast cannabis culture, ranking No. 2 in search activity for common marijuana terms on Google. Whether they’re searching for the best dispensaries or local cannabis tours, Boston has no shortage of entertainment options for stoners. The city also boasts 122 music venues — 38% more than the average city (88).
12. San Jose, California
🌮 Cannabis Cravings
When the munchies attack, San Jose stoners won’t go hungry with 19.4 Taco Bells per 100,000 residents — 3x more than the studied city average (6.3).
More than 1 in 4 Americans (26%) think San Jose is a cannabis-friendly city. However, it doesn’t always live up to consumers’ high expectations. San Jose has just 1.6 dispensaries per 100,000 residents — about 2x less than the studied city average (3.1).
Marijuana retailers are primarily concentrated in the East San Jose neighborhood, but local lawmakers hope to make selling weed easier by reducing zoning barriers that prohibit new retailers from opening across the city.
San Jose may have the fewest dispensaries per capita among California’s largest metros, but it does have the most head shops in the Golden State and fourth-most overall, with 2 per 100,000 residents.
The city also boasts some of the cheapest pot prices in the country. An ounce of medium-quality weed is $209, and an ounce of high-quality weed is $259. Those prices are 17% and 18% less than the average prices among all 50 cities studied, respectively.
Cannabis is extremely affordable for San Jose residents, who could purchase 531 ounces of medium-quality weed and 428 ounces of high-quality weed on one year’s salary. In fact, the only city where the price-to-income ratio is more affordable is in nearby San Francisco.
13. Phoenix, Arizona
🔥 Blazed a Trail
Take a trip on one of Phoenix’s 238 hiking trails, the most of any city we studied.
Not much can grow in the desert, but Phoenix is fertile ground for marijuana tourism. The Valley of the Sun has plenty of entertainment options for stoners who want to do more than toke up in the parking lot before a live show.
Not only does Phoenix have 17% more concert venues than the average city (88), it has 3.5x the number of hiking trails (70). The city also hosts several cannabis events, such as gourmet dining experiences and awards shows.
With so much to do while high, it’s fortunate that pot is reasonably priced in Phoenix. One ounce of medium-quality weed costs $235 — 7% less than the national average ($252). Additionally, an ounce of high-quality weed costs $292 — 8% less than the national average ($316).
Phoenix has a strong base of passionate stoners who support local and non-local retailers. In fact, Leafly has more site visitors from Phoenix than any other city in the U.S.
14. Detroit, Michigan
🎶 Hits From the Bong
Motor City or Music City? Detroit has plenty of entertainment options for stoners with the second-most concert venues (244) among all 50 cities studied.
When it comes to music and marijuana, Detroit has a rich history. From John Lennon’s ode to local activist John Sinclair to Eminem’s “Must be the Ganja,” the city has long inspired musicians to incorporate the plant into their lyrics and performances.
Music-loving stoners will find a pot paradise in Detroit. It has nearly 3x the number of concert venues as the average city (88), as well as affordable prices to ensure live music shows sound even better.
Recreational sales began in January after a yearslong struggle to award licenses for recreational retailers. One ounce of high-quality marijuana costs $293, which is about 7% less than the studied city average ($316).
Buyers can also rest assured knowing they’re getting the best quality weed. Detroit dispensaries have an average rating of 4.5 stars on Leafly — 22% higher than the average retailer ranking in our study (3.7).
“Michigan is going off,” Downs said. “They had a really mature medical industry when they legalized adult use. Now, Peanut Butter Breath is making waves, and we’re growing Michigan genetics here in California.”
14. Hartford, Connecticut
📈 Pot Potential
Hartford can meet stoners’ weed needs with the third-most head shops among all 50 cities studied — 2.1 per 100,000 residents.
After legalizing marijuana for all uses in 2021, recreational sales finally got underway this January. Several dispensaries have obtained adult-use licenses, including Curaleaf and Fine Fettle in the Hartford metro area.
“Connecticut and the Northeast have a decades-old history of cultivation,” Downs said. “There’s a lot of talent tucked away. It can be a pretty sweet spot to smoke.”
Local leaf-lovers aren’t limiting themselves to regional options, though. Hartford residents visit Leafly.com at the third-highest rate, behind only Phoenix and Portland. They also search for marijuana-related terms on Google 13% more than the average city.
While Hartford’s budding recreational industry grows, the medical market remains one of the best in the country, with 0.6 cannabis-prescribing doctors per 100,000 residents — 2x the number in the average city (0.3).
America’s Favorite Weed Cities
Portland tops our list of best places for stoners to live in 2023, but other cities are highly celebrated for their acceptance of cannabis.
When it comes to America’s favorite weed city, Los Angeles blows the competition away. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (58%) think L.A. is a top five weed-friendly city, according to a poll of 1,000 adults.
“L.A. is the world’s biggest cannabis market on the medical and recreational side,” Downs said. “When a city is that big, there’s so much opportunity for cross-pollination and innovation.”
With Los Angeles as its shining star, Americans consider California, as a whole, one of the best states for marijuana. Americans ranked five cities from the Golden State on their list of top 10 weed-friendly cities.
Most-Friendly Weed Cities
- Los Angeles, California (58%)
- San Diego, California (45%)
- Sacramento, California (42%)
- San Francisco, California (41%)
- Denver, Colorado (27%)
- San Jose, California (26%)
- Phoenix, Arizona (24%)
- Birmingham, Alabama (17%)
- Miami, Florida (14%)
- Las Vegas, Nevada (12%)
Americans consider Birmingham one of the worst cities for stoners, with 1 in 4 survey respondents (25%) saying it does not have weed-friendly policies.
The 10 Worst Weed Cities
The movement to legalize marijuana marches on across the country, but some cities are still living in the stone(d) age. Pot smokers will want to blow these joints:
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Houston, Texas
- Atlanta, Georgia
- San Antonio, Texas
Cannabis remains illegal for recreational use in all of our bottom 10 cities. In fact, Birmingham is the only city where it’s even legal for medicinal purposes. However, that’s not enough to lift it out of the bottom spot.
As a result of restrictive state laws, Birmingham has just 0.5 dispensaries per 100,000 residents — 84% less than the studied city average (3.1). Not only is cannabis hard to access in Birmingham, it’s expensive for many locals.
At $340 an ounce, high-quality marijuana costs 8% more than the average price ($316). That means residents can purchase just 162 ounces of weed on the typical yearly salary, compared to 205 ounces in the average city.
Birmingham residents also show little passion for pot. They rank No. 47 in Google search activity for marijuana-related terms and No. 45 in site visits to Leafly.com.
“To the people of Birmingham, liberation is coming,” Downs said. “Although we’re heartened by the advance of medical and decriminalization, it’s a shame access is still so low and punishment is high in some places.”
Top 5 Rankings by Category
To obtain our rankings, we compared a number of statistics regarding the 50 largest metro areas in the United States based on population. We normalized those statistics and weighted the results according to the following rubric:
- 20.8% – Legality
- 12.5% – Cannabis-prescribing doctors per 100,000 residents (Leafly)
- 10.4% – Dispensaries per 100,000 residents (Leafly)
- 10.4% – Average rating of dispensaries (Leafly)
- 8.3% – Site visitors to Leafly (Leafly)
- 6.3% – Price of 1 ounce of high-quality weed
- 6.3% – Affordability of high-quality weed
- 4.2% – Price of 1 ounce of average-quality weed
- 4.2% – Affordability of average-quality weed
- 4.2% – Number of head shops per 100,000 residents
- 4.2% – Google Trends data for 12 common marijuana search terms, such as marijuana, THC, 420, and kush
- 2.1% – Number of local hiking trails according to the AllTrails database
- 2.1% – Concert venues per 100,000 residents
- 2.1% – Number of Taco Bells per 100,000 residents
- 2.1% – Reputation poll
Sources for data include Leafly.com, PriceofWeed.com, the U.S. Census, Google Trends, AllTrails, IndieontheMove.com, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Yelp.
For our reputation poll, we conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans and asked them to identify five cities that they thought had the best and worst marijuana scene.
About Real Estate Witch
You shouldn’t need a crystal ball or magical powers to understand real estate. Since 2016, Real Estate Witch has demystified real estate through in-depth guides, honest company reviews, and data-driven research. In 2020, Real Estate Witch was acquired by Clever Real Estate, a free agent-matching service that has helped consumers save more than $160 million on realtor fees. Real Estate Witch’s research has been featured in CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, Chicago Tribune, Black Enterprise, and more.
As the world’s largest cannabis information resource, Leafly’s mission is to help patients and consumers make informed choices about cannabis and to empower cannabis businesses to attract and retain loyal customers through advertising and technology services. Learn more at Leafly.com.
More Research From Real Estate Witch
We Found the Best Weed Cities in the U.S. (2022 Data): With new states legalizing recreational marijuana, discover how the best weed cities have changed since 2022.
71% of Americans Believe Legalizing Cannabis Improves States’ Economies: The cannabis stigma isn’t as prevalent as it was a decade ago, with 2 in 3 adults supporting full legalization. Learn more about Americans’ legalization opinions and personal use habits.
How Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Impacts Home Values: In states where marijuana was legal, home values increased by $6,338 between April 2017 and April 2021. Find out how much your home may be worth.
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What is the weed capital of the U.S.?
Portland is the best place for stoners to live in 2023. Residents enjoy the cheapest weed prices in the country, with an ounce of high-quality marijuana costing $210 — $106 less than the average price ($316). Learn more.
What city has the most dispensaries?
Although cannabis is only legal for medicinal use, Oklahoma City has 48.7 dispensaries per 100,000 residents — nearly 16x more than the average city (3.1). Learn more.
What state has the best weed?
California is one of the best states for cannabis. In a poll of 1,000 adults, Americans ranked five cities from the Golden State on their list of top 10 weed-friendly cities. Among California cities, Los Angeles had the most support, with 58% of respondents saying it was a good city for stoners. Learn more.
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