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Looking into the Top 15 US Cities for Weed Consumption in 2023

By Chase Nightingale

As we all know, the cannabis industry in the United States is a rapidly growing market, as seen with the legal cannabis sector expected to reach jaw-dropping revenues by the end of 2023. This dramatic increase is driven by increasing legalization, changing societal attitudes, and the rising acceptance of cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, the success of this industry is not evenly distributed across all states. In this article, we will delve into the top 15 US cities with the highest weed consumption, providing an insight into the cannabis landscape in these areas.

Cannabis Industry in the US: A Green Revolution

The legal cannabis industry in the US took some hits in 2022, but according to the renowned cannabis research group, Brightfield Group, the expected annual revenue of the industry is estimated to reach an astounding $31.8 billion by the end of 2023, growing to a whopping $50.7 billion by 2028.

This growth can be attributed to the increasing legalization of cannabis, along with a rising acceptance of its use for medicinal purposes. Additionally, new states are also expected to contribute to this growth. In the first two months of 2023 alone, three states have launched cannabis sales: two for adult use (Connecticut and Maryland), and one for medical use (Mississippi).

Challenges Faced by the Cannabis Industry

Despite the significant growth, the cannabis industry in the US faces a variety of challenges. The primary issue is federal illegality, which significantly increases the cost of doing business for cannabis companies. Due to the discrepancy between federal and state marijuana laws, cannabis companies cannot receive traditional banking or loans, and they lack bankruptcy protections, which traditional businesses enjoy.

Moreover, the cannabis industry endures considerable taxes due to their classification as illegal narcotics traffickers under the federal tax code. The inability to engage in interstate commerce results in companies needing to establish separate farms, factories, and stores in each state they operate, leading to a rapidly evolving patchwork of state regulations.

Top 15 US Cities for Weed Consumption

Now, let’s dive into the list of top 15 US cities consuming the most weed in 2023.

15. Washington D.C.

Total Weed Consumption: 2 metric tons

Washington D.C. made our list due to its legalization of recreational marijuana, albeit with restrictions.

14. Albuquerque, NM

Total Weed Consumption: 3 metric tons

Albuquerque made the list due to the state of New Mexico’s significant adult-use cannabis sales in its first year.

13. Detroit, MI

Total Weed Consumption: 3 metric tons

Despite some companies faltering, Detroit’s cannabis sales hit record highs last year.

12. Boston, MA

Total Weed Consumption: 3.6 metric tons

With some of the best dispensaries in the country, Boston ranks among the cities that consume the most weed in America.

11. Lincoln, NE

Total Weed Consumption: 3.7 metric tons

Despite the state of Nebraska’s decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis, the sale of any amount of marijuana is still a felony.

10. Las Vegas, NV

Total Weed Consumption: 4.1 metric tons

Despite the challenges faced due to local casino operators’ inability to participate in the cannabis industry, Las Vegas still made the list.

9. Seattle, WA

Total Weed Consumption: 4.6 metric tons

Seattle’s initiatives to improve equity and assist people of color break into the legal cannabis industry have been successful.

8. Portland, OR

Total Weed Consumption: 5 metric tons

Portland’s market saturation and reduced prices have not stopped it from being declared the ‘Best Weed City’ of 2023.

7. Denver, CO

Total Weed Consumption: 6.8 metric tons

Denver, famous for its craft beer scene, also hosts pioneers of marijuana-infused beverages.

6. Philadelphia, PA

Total Weed Consumption: 10.6 metric tons

Despite weed not being legal in Philly, small amounts have been decriminalized, and you won’t be arrested for minor offenses.

5. Phoenix, AZ

Total Weed Consumption: 11.4 metric tons 

Arizona is one of the more progressive states when it comes to cannabis businesses. This is reflected in the consumption rate.

4. Houston, TX

Total Weed Consumption: 18.5 metric tons

Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Texas, though in several cities and counties, small amounts have been decriminalized. 

3. Chicago, IL

Total Weed Consumption: 24.9 metric tons

Within Chicago, some of the prominent contributors in the cannabis industry are headquartered, including publicly listed companies such as Cresco Labs, Verano, and Green Thumb Industries (all traded under the pink slip designation), along with privately owned PharmaCann.

2. Los Angeles, CA

Total Weed Consumption: 35 metric tons 

Last year, the state known as the Sunshine State produced $5.3 billion through legal sales, and the tax income derived from cannabis surpassed $1 billion in 2022, marking the highest amount in the nation.

1. New York, NY

Total Weed Consumption: 62.3 metric tons 

Not only does New York lead as the U.S. city consuming the most marijuana, but it also claims the global top spot for weed consumption.

Operating in the Cannabis Industry

If you’re considering starting a business in the cannabis industry, these cities may be a good place to start. However, as a cannabis business operating in one of these states, the importance of cannabis payment solutions and credit card processing with companies such as PayRio cannot be overstated. To learn how you can boost your revenue with our credit & debit card solution, contact a PayRio representative today.

With the cannabis industry showing signs of growth and resilience despite the challenges it faces, there’s no better time than now to dive into this green revolution. Whether you are a consumer, investor, or entrepreneur, the future of cannabis in the US promises exciting opportunities.