Special Report

Most Marijuana-Friendly Cities in America

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Whether he intended to or not, Bob Dylan became associated with marijuana in the 1960s with his loopy, New Orleans-marching-band-inspired song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and its refrain “Everybody must get stoned.” With more and more states fully legalizing pot, it sometimes seems as if (almost) everybody is heeding his advice. (These are Bob Dylan’s all-time biggest hits.)

The ubiquitous scent of marijuana is as much a part of urban life in many places today as Uber transportation and DoorDash food deliveries. Recreational use of the once universally banned drug has now been decriminalized in 32 states and is fully legal in 21 of them. Local jurisdictions have their own restrictions on dispensaries, however, and some cities are more hospitable to the enjoyment of joints and edibles than others.

To determine the most marijuana-friendly cities in America in honor of April 20 – unofficially recognized as a national holiday for cannabis culture – 24/7 Tempo reviewed a ranking formulated by LawnStarter, a lawn care start-up that frequently conducts research into city and state amenities. (Insert your own joke about grass here.) The site compiled a list of the 200 largest U.S. cities, then eliminated those in which adult recreational marijuana use is not yet legal, leaving a sample of 105 municipalities. These were rated in six categories divided into 18 differently weighted metrics. 

The categories were access (including number of dispensaries, head shops, etc., and legality of home cultivation), customer satisfaction (ratings and reviews of dispensaries), convenience (number of cannabis delivery services and share of dispensaries accepting credit cards), lounging (including cannabis-friendly accommodations and lounges), entertainment (cannabis-oriented tours and events), and “munchie relief” (fast food- and cheese-lover friendliness). Information on these specifics was drawn from 14 different websites, ranging from CelebStoner to U.S. News & World Report, as well as from previous LawnStarter studies.

Click here to see the most marijuana-friendly cities in America

Thirty-three of the 40 cities on our list are on the West Coast or in the Pacific Northwest or Southwest. This isn’t too surprising, since the counterculture took root in the West in the 1960s – and Washington and Colorado were the first two states to legalize marijuana. Nearly half of the cities here, and three of the top four, are in California. (Around the world, these are the countries where people buy the most marijuana.)

Why is April 20 connected to marijuana? Stoner lore traces the association to five California high school students back in 1971 who were looking for an abandoned crop of cannabis and agreed to meet at 4:20 p.m. The phrase “4/20” eventually became a commonly understood reference to smoking marijuana.

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40. Seattle, Washington
> Access rank: 31/105
> Convenience rank: 60/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 49/105
> Overall score: 24.13

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39. Fresno, California
> Access rank: 62/105
> Convenience rank: 28/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 39/105
> Overall score: 24.2

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

38. Scottsdale, Arizona
> Access rank: 73/105
> Convenience rank: 37/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 44/105
> Overall score: 26.1

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37. Baltimore, Maryland
> Access rank: 98/105
> Convenience rank: 62/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 5/105
> Overall score: 26.15

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36. North Las Vegas, Nevada
> Access rank: 69/105
> Convenience rank: 70/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 4/105
> Overall score: 26.28

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35. Escondido, California
> Access rank: 81/105
> Convenience rank: 56/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 9/105
> Overall score: 26.5

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34. Boston, Massachusetts
> Access rank: 18/105
> Convenience rank: 56/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 57/105
> Overall score: 26.94

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33. Henderson, Nevada
> Access rank: 65/105
> Convenience rank: 66/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 12/105
> Overall score: 27.26

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32. Oxnard, California
> Access rank: 44/105
> Convenience rank: 47/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 10/105
> Overall score: 27.53

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31. Grand Rapids, Michigan
> Access rank: 11/105
> Convenience rank: 40/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 47/105
> Overall score: 27.59

30. New York, New York
> Access rank: 20/105
> Convenience rank: 40/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 68/105
> Overall score: 27.68

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29. San Bernardino, California
> Access rank: 25/105
> Convenience rank: 52/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 13/105
> Overall score: 27.82

28. Thornton, Colorado
> Access rank: 54/105
> Convenience rank: 18/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 27/105
> Overall score: 27.98

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27. St. Louis, Missouri
> Access rank: 21/105
> Convenience rank: 62/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 41/105
> Overall score: 28.02

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26. Santa Rosa, California
> Access rank: 15/105
> Convenience rank: 59/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 36/105
> Overall score: 28.14

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25. Albuquerque, New Mexico
> Access rank: 9/105
> Convenience rank: 46/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 55/105
> Overall score: 28.37

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24. Detroit, Michigan
> Access rank: 34/105
> Convenience rank: 52/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 15/105
> Overall score: 28.89

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23. Mesa, Arizona
> Access rank: 49/105
> Convenience rank: 62/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 17/105
> Overall score: 29.01

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22. Glendale, Arizona
> Access rank: 28/105
> Convenience rank: 50/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 14/105
> Overall score: 30.21

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21. Corona, California
> Access rank: 58/105
> Convenience rank: 23/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 8/105
> Overall score: 30.75

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20. Moreno Valley, California
> Access rank: 23/105
> Convenience rank: 33/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 6/105
> Overall score: 31.81

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19. Pomona, California
> Access rank: 41/105
> Convenience rank: 40/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 7/105
> Overall score: 31.9

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18. Riverside, California
> Access rank: 47/105
> Convenience rank: 21/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 2/105
> Overall score: 32.66

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17. Phoenix, Arizona
> Access rank: 59/105
> Convenience rank: 55/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 18/105
> Overall score: 32.83

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16. Oakland, California
> Access rank: 17/105
> Convenience rank: 3/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 26/105
> Overall score: 33.08

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15. Modesto, California
> Access rank: 16/105
> Convenience rank: 47/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 16/105
> Overall score: 33.5

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14. Salem, Oregon
> Access rank: 7/105
> Convenience rank: 66/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 30/105
> Overall score: 33.64

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13. San Jose, California
> Access rank: 40/105
> Convenience rank: 5/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 11/105
> Overall score: 33.65

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12. Sacramento, California
> Access rank: 12/105
> Convenience rank: 1/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 28/105
> Overall score: 36.69

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11. Washington, D.C.
> Access rank: 13/105
> Convenience rank: 70/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 22/105
> Overall score: 37.12

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10. Eugene, Oregon
> Access rank: 3/105
> Convenience rank: 65/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 35/105
> Overall score: 37.66

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9. San Diego, California
> Access rank: 22/105
> Convenience rank: 26/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 20/105
> Overall score: 38.38

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8. Torrance, California
> Access rank: 19/105
> Convenience rank: 26/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 1/105
> Overall score: 39.53

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7. Portland, Oregon
> Access rank: 5/105
> Convenience rank: 54/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 42/105
> Overall score: 39.95

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6. Long Beach, California
> Access rank: 8/105
> Convenience rank: 23/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 19/105
> Overall score: 41.34

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5. Las Vegas, Nevada
> Access rank: 10/105
> Convenience rank: 45/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 25/105
> Overall score: 45.21

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4. Santa Ana, California
> Access rank: 2/105
> Convenience rank: 16/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 3/105
> Overall score: 49.14

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3. Denver, Colorado
> Access rank: 4/105
> Convenience rank: 49/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 31/105
> Overall score: 50.97

2. Los Angeles, California
> Access rank: 6/105
> Convenience rank: 3/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 21/105
> Overall score: 57.5

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1. San Francisco, California
> Access rank: 1/105
> Convenience rank: 13/105
> Customer satisfaction rank: 33/105
> Overall score: 59.77

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