PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Just 10 years ago, weed enthusiasts looking to smoke cannabis legally would have been out of luck unless they booked a trip to Amsterdam.
However, since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, the so-called ‘Green Rush’ of legal weed has grown — with nearly 30% of states now offering pot-lovers a legal place to puff in peace.
With recreational cannabis now greenlit in 18 states, it seems there are more options than ever for stoners to set up shop. However, a new list of the “Best Weed Cities in the U.S.” suggests not all kush is created equal.
While Portland was not quite primo, the city was ranked as the second-best place to live for weed lovers by Real Estate Witch.
Second behind Denver as the best city for stoners, the list showed Portland also had the second-highest number of dispensaries and the second-most affordable weed prices.
“Potlanders have long embraced this natural ingredient, but smoke-filled stoner dens have given way to boutique dispensaries that look more like chic botany shops,” the list stated. “With 7.9 dispensaries per 100,000 residents, Portland has the second-most dispensaries of any city.”
According to the research, the City of Roses touts 40% more dispensaries and head shops than the other cities listed in the top 15 metros which “won’t kill your buzz.”
To determine the best weed-friendly cities, the company said it used 2022 data to analyze marijuana laws, dispensary numbers, pot pricing and product variety.
“Americans are consuming more cannabis than ever before, and tourists are flocking to mature and emerging markets for weed-infused experiences,” the article stated. “To determine the best cities for stoners, we analyzed publicly available data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Google Trends, Price of Weed, DISA Global Solutions, and Yelp.”
Additionally, researchers considered cannabis culture criteria, such as access to local hiking spots, concert venues, festivals and — of course — fast food.
According to the list, culture and access are some of the main reasons Portland was ranked so high.
“Despite the bougie weed scene, posh pot in Portland is actually 30% cheaper than the national average ($318) at $213 an ounce, and residents spend just 2.6% of their annual income on marijuana,” Real Estate Witch said. “At those prices, canna-tourists can splurge on a dope experience such as the Potlandia Experience sightseeing bus or the trippy 420 magic show Smokus Pocus.”
Denver better watch out; as the cannabis craze continues to develop, so has Portland’s unique pot culture.
While the city wasn’t the most 420 friendly this year, second place is no consolation prize — especially when it means Portlanders currently have access to some of the most affordable pot prices in the nation.
To view Real Estate Witch’s full list of the Best Weed Cities in the U.S., click here.