Where is America’s Cannabis Capital?

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director December 22, 2009

    Because of the numerous media reports and typical Hollywood hype many close observers would immediately place the city of Los Angeles as America’s cannabis capital. Or maybe they’d guess that ever-cannabis tolerant San Francisco must be it. Possibly, ‘Oaksterdam’?

    But, they’d be wrong.

    Based on the size of the populations and number of reported medical cannabis dispensaries by each city’s respective City Council, America’s cannabis capital is….drum roll please….

    Los Angeles – 1,000 dispensaries for a population of 9,862,049 = 1 dispensary per 9,862 people

    Denver – 198 dispensaries for a population of 598,707 = 1 dispensary per 3,023 people

    98 Responses to “Where is America’s Cannabis Capital?”

    1. Paul says:

      Where is the cannabis coming from in Denver? How much are they paying for it? Is it more or less than it is in states with fewer dispensaries?

      If they wanted to tell us something interesting, they would tell us what the price ranges in the dispensaries are. For example, are the price ranges all the same in Denver? If so, why? Shouldn’t the open market be determining prices? Do you pay any more or any less than what you pay on the street? Of all the legal dispensaries in the US, who has the lowest prices? Why?

    2. PressureKook says:

      Judge Gray said he’ll be debating L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley on various marijuana issues Jan. 19 at the California Club. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/12/legalize-marijuana.html

    3. cs says:

      makes me want to get the h*ll out of texas

    4. Luke_C says:

      Google trends confirms it! Look at the city list.


      “Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of marijuana in all years.” lol

    5. Aaron says:

      What a great debate and very interesting see the amount of pride people feel to be named Cannabis Capital of USA. Recently I published an article about how legal marijuana could make positive changes for New Orleans (see: http://www.reefersmoke.com/2009/12/new-orleans-as-marijuana-mecca.html ) and I seriously hope that this idea get’s some legs because it makes such perfect sense.

      New Orleans as a Marijuana Mecca it’s a genius idea!

    6. Wow, I always thought L.A. would be more per capita. I guess 1,000 dispensaries isn’t that much when you do the math. Just makes you realize how much the media hype plays into your perceptions.

    7. g marler says:

      sweet i happen to be moving there monday

    8. claygooding says:

      This is a medi pot survey and has nothing to do with the most tokers,or most marijuana used. So the cannibis capitol is still unknown.
      I would love to know the actual number of pot smokers in America,as I have long said the government wouldn’t let us know if the majority of Americans use marijuana and polls and questionnaires asking about drug use are never answered truthfully.

    9. claygooding says:

      For J and Oakland:
      I agree that Oakland and northern California do grow good pot,but not any better than anywhere else,if the grower knows what they are doing. And another thing Ca leads in is the exorbitant prices for pot. One of the side effects of legalization will be the reduction in price,a very large reduction if they want to stop the black market.

    10. dave says:

      if mn. dosen’t make mariajana legal foe the disabled this year. i will be selling everything i got and the the heck out of the frozen tundery.

    11. Realpothead says:

      Happy Holidays from The Real Potheads of North Hollywood!

    12. stoned says:

      Not to gripe, but those population numbers include all of the L.A. metro area, quite generously speaking, while the Denver numbers include only the bare-bones city of Denver. It’s more than a little misleading.

      [Editor’s note: Misleading? The data is from the US census…Los Angeles and Denver.]

    13. Lea says:

      Wasn’t going to comment for the next two days so you guys could have your “holiday”, sigh … however let’s put it out there.
      Your response to #37 NORML is what bothers me presently. “The Veteran’s Administration, a federal bureaucracy, does not yet support medical access to cannabis”.
      Maybe because I’ve commented on it once or twice before and not received a response, or my ability to find the information is lagging, not sure.
      This state by state success of medical MJ is wonderful, and it’s a good start, I guess, because I don’t know, don’t think anyone really knows if it’s a good start to a desirable end.

      Our veterans and military members are missing out big time. And you may not like the military however, there are good people in the military too that want to be able to smoke, vaporize or eat cannabis but are unable to do so because of the Federal laws still in place.
      All of the politicians really need to wake up and remove the sleep from their eyes, they need to take their blinders off and grow a set of b______.

      Just a suggestion NORML, give your supporters a template of suggestions and ideas to put together letters, talking points, or whatever can be expressed in a way that government and police will understand so that those who are willing can continue to hammer away.
      And the above would need to be updated and modified as the situation changes.
      There is sooooo much information out there anymore on the benefits of cannabis that it’s almost a full time job to keep track of it all. I’m not asking you to do it for me NORML, I’m just asking that you help us, your grassroots members, stay ahead of the game and the important talking points.
      Yes, there is some stuff in the book however, and in my mind only, it’s not enough to push this frakking legalize cannabis snowball over the top of the mountain so it can really start rolling downhill to gain greater momentum and end the slavery of Prohibition.

    14. Dave says:

      Hear you there #13 and #35 most likely South Carolina and Georgia will be the last two states that dont have medical marihuana …hell i still have my skiis im ready for a move… Merry Christmas everyone

    15. dengal says:

      there is a large number of them being robbed and burglarized ….its on the news almost nightly.
      It’ll be interesting to see how it is handled.

    16. Darrell Kilgore says:

      Well everyone,Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year. Hopefully 2010 will be as productive,if not more so, in the Pro- Cannabis movement. May the jolly old elf fill his bowl with good bud and gift everyone with some of the same. Regulize

    17. Darrell Kilgore says:

      A little downer news. JOPLIN, Mo. – Some people won’t be getting the Christmas presents they were expecting. Missouri troopers seized about 20 pounds of marijuana from a car this week — some of it in luggage, and some in boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts.

      The Highway Patrol says troopers found the marijuana in the car they stopped for speeding on Interstate 44 near Joplin.

      Two California women in the car gave troopers permission to search the vehicle. Both were charged Tuesday with one marijuana-related count and released on $1,000 bond.

    18. CKDK29 says:

      Well Denver i hope u welcome me cuz ima commin ,not to mention #60 i myself am thinking about that to sellin everything an going where its more acceptable .

    19. stoned says:

      Ok, I see what the deal is then. Los Angeles County is a huge county, encompassing not only LA but several of its suburbs. Denver County, on the other hand, is tiny and pretty much includes the city of Denver and nothing else… Either way, I’d take either one over where I live now!

    20. imsmokinit says:

      i live like 2 hrs away from Denver this just made my day

    21. Sour4d20 says:

      I would like to put a special thanks out to all the people who had to suffer because of ignorant and medieval laws; I am eternally thankful to all the friends, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers who fought intolerance to preserve our natural human rights. I am thankful for all the Coloradoan’s: ganja heads and non-users alike that have supported and petitioned for our causes. WE SHALL OVERCOME.

    22. pvtpyle says:

      In re: #63.
      The VA not only does not support the medical use of marijuana, they will withdraw prescription pain killer if you show a urine dirty with MJ. You must take a urine test upon being prescribed narcotics and with any increase you request and is approved. They give you two dirty urines they they withhold the prescription.
      This policy seem to have nothing to do with medicine but everything to do with some DEA program.
      Does anybody know of any collaboration?

    23. tim says:

      As a resident of colorado, I am be pleased with recent legislation in many colorado communities, however it is still not keeping law enforcement away. My son runs a dispensary in El Paso County CO. He was raided by DEA at the insistence of local authorities, was shut down and arrested. He now faces prosecution for cultivating, despite being a licensed caregiver in the state. He is facing Prison time for doing what the state said he is allowed to do, so my advice DONT’T BELIEVE YOU ARE IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION IN COLORADO!!!!!!!!!

    24. John says:

      This Is Stupid. Denver only has 198 dispensaries, whereas Los Angeles has 1,000. It is only because of L.A’s bigger population that the “Dispensary per people ratio” is low… Los Angeles should clearly be the country’s cannabis capital

      [Editor’s note: Um….your inability to grasp statistics underscores the notoriety of Denver overtaking a city like Los Angeles regarding the DENSITY of cannabis buyers clubs available for patients. Others have correctly pointed out that there are other, smaller cities beyond Los Angeles and Denver with higher per capita cannabis buyers clubs, i.e., Redding, CA.]

    25. Lea says:

      #72, yes, I’ve heard that and it absolutely pisses me off. In addition to the military and veterans, DoD employees fall under their ugly umbrella of oppression.
      The DEA has far too much power and needs to be reminded that they’re not gods.

    26. Earl says:

      I disagree with this story and here’s why…

      While Denver may have more dispensaries per ratio, it is also worth noting that many of the local governments, including those in the Denver metro area are trying to restrict patient rights and restrict the growth of the dispensary industry in the area. The story below is but one example.


      The problem in the state of Colorado is that while MM was approved by the voters you have many social conservatives who are positions of authority who abuse their power in attempt to nullify a law passed by the people of the state due to their own personal and moral objections. California doesn’t seem to have this.

      For more info on what I’m talking about, please check out this website.


    27. Joe says:

      Oh great now we are going to get a whole lot more idiots in D-Town Super lame

    28. dee katt says:

      id like to think the reef capitol is wherever im standing

    29. Q says:

      Man what’s taking DC so dang long?

    30. BIGMIKE says:

      #63 … not true. In Centennial CO, a judge just overruled the city on their effort to close a dispensary down, by using Federal Laws. He ruled that our state laws on the legal use of Medicinal MJ, super ceded the Feds antiquated prohibition laws.
      #62 … you’re correct, Denver propers’ population is less than half the Metro area combined.

    31. BIGMIKE says:

      #76, earl ….. you have been smoking too much !!! Colorado is as Liberal as California is now. That’s because these loony Californians keep moving here in droves. It wouldn’t be so bad, if they knew how to drive a damn car !!!!
      Too all inquiring minds: Dispensary weed in Colorado is anywhere from $80 for a quarter oz, and up….the sky IS the limit here!

    32. Mr. Stone says:

      I live in Denver… and yes, it rocks!! :)

    33. Kath in Denver says:

      I am a medical marijuana patient in Colorado. Although I have used mj for 40 years, I use it legally now.It has finally come to fruition! We are professional working people who choose to medicate without the big pharma companies.Less dui,less violence, a heck of a lot less pain and boy is it beautiful!!!

    34. foco says:

      #65:”A Denver Police Department analysis estimates that medical- marijuana dispensaries in the city were robbed or burglarized at a lower rate last year than either banks or liquor stores.
      The analysis — contained in a memo authored by Division Chief Tracie Keesee for Denver City Council members — finds that the projected robbery and burglary rate for storefront dispensaries in 2009 was on par with that of pharmacies.

      The projected 16.8 percent burglary and robbery rate for dispensaries is equal to that of pharmacies. It’s below the 19.7 percent rate of liquor stores and the 33.7 percent rate for banks, the analysis found.

      Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14275637#ixzz0dqpcurjO

      You have to remember your local news tells you about unusual incidents. A liquor store, or bank, or pharmacy
      getting robbed is not unusual, hence no coverage, but a medical marijuana dispensary being robbed, that’s unusual,and makes headlines.

      #81:Don’t know where you shop but I just got an eighth of AK-47 for $40 from a Fort Collins dispencery.

    35. BIGMIKE says:

      @ Hey !!! foco, do you know American math … I don’t know the new “Clinton math”, like you apparently do, but, I do know that an 1/8oz for $40, is the same as 1/4oz for $80 ??? DUMMY !!!

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    38. Jordan says:

      i live in Arvada, CO, get weed for free most the time.

    39. […] City is a great smoker’s town. I’m not talking the leafy-green variety that has made Denver the nation’s counter-culture capital. I’m talking […]

    40. blunt rap says:

      ok it might have the most but the best bud comes from nor-cal

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    43. SavageFarms says:

      You all need to stop telling about the bad things you give the state government and counties, the wrong impression. Dont call cannibas GreenCrack this tells the people who make the rules and county laws that cannabis is like crack cocaine. Which is why we are getting a bad repor with people who dont use cannabis. Let us all be useing our brains and not stupidity. From Axe Savage of savagefarms4all420needs@gmail.com buyers reply to this email.

    44. Rich says:

      Denver is the new Amsterdam. amsterdenver.com

    45. Jordan says:

      cops don’t even care about weed here in Denver and the metro area. I’ve been pulled over with a joint still burning in the ashtray and the cop just pretended not to see it haha. It was sick! The max penalty for possession under an oz is a $100 fine with $25 court fee. Nobody gives a shit about weed out here, I blaze. In my car all the time I don’t even hide it. If you like weed, come out here Cali is pretty sick it seems like its the same way out there. I walked down Hollywood and vine and I smelled dank everywhere!

    46. Jordan says:

      Oh and by the way weed prices in the Denver area are as follows depending on source and potency: 1/2 8th: $10-15, 8th $25-35, quarter $50-70, half oz $100-120, oz $180-210 ish and so on. Before weed laws were so lax an 8th was $50. I also agree wholeheartedly that Denver is the true cannabis capital over any California city simply because the DEA and Feds have left Denver dispensaries alone for the most part, unlike California’s dispensaries. They know the voters here ( liberals and conservatives alike) want weed legal.

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