Cities with the Highest Weed Consumption in the World: The Weed Hub
Let’s embark on a journey through the top cities with the Highest weed Consumption in the world. If you’re eager to get straight to the juicy details and bypass our in-depth exploration of the global cannabis landscape.
Including insights into Thailand’s weed market, the recent shakeup in the world’s premier cannabis hub, or the growing trend of cannabis-infused beverages, head directly to our rundown of Cities Leading in Weed Consumption.
Cannabis’ healing powers are no recent discovery. Tracing its documented use takes us back to 2,800 B.C., when Emperor Shen Nung, often hailed as the forefather of Chinese medicine, included it in his medicinal directory. Furthermore, Hindu traditions hold cannabis in high esteem, considering it one of the earth’s five holiest plants, possessing the ability to absolve sins and create a bond with the deity Shiva. Its remarkable medicinal attributes also find a place in the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda.
Global Cannabis Industry
Fortune Business Insights reveals some eye-catching stats about the booming cannabis industry. As of 2022, the global market was worth an impressive $47.32 billion. And if you think that’s remarkable, hold onto your hats! The projection is for this figure to climb to a staggering $444.34 billion by 2030, marking an average annual growth rate of 34%.
What’s fueling this surge? The growing wave of marijuana legalization worldwide is a big factor. It’s not just about recreational use either. The medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis are gaining acknowledgment, pushing more countries to embrace its potential. As it stands, cannabis holds the title as the planet’s most cultivated, trafficked, and popular drug.
Cannabis Industry in Thailand
In a groundbreaking move in June 2022, Thailand stepped up as the first Asian nation to decriminalize all aspects of the cannabis plant, from cultivation to consumption. This isn’t just about letting people enjoy cannabis recreationally. Thailand sees big business in this leafy green. By legalizing its commercial sale and even its growth at home, the government is eyeing cannabis as a potential goldmine.
Given that almost one-third of Thailand’s population is involved in agriculture, turning cannabis into a major export product seems like a smart move. The projections? They’re estimating the cannabis industry could pump more than $2 billion into the nation’s economy.
There’s a social angle to this as well. With a majority of Thailand’s prison population behind bars due to drug offenses, decriminalizing cannabis could help in addressing the issue of jam-packed jails. It’s a win-win on many fronts!
Extinction Event in the Largest Cannabis Market in the World
In 2022, California proudly stood as the world’s most significant cannabis hub with sales hitting an impressive $5.3 billion. But beneath this booming business lies a concerning undercurrent. The state’s cannabis sector might be heading towards a rough patch, often referred to as an ‘extinction event’, where many pot shops could shutter due to mounting debt and missed tax payments.
This isn’t a sudden turn of events. Debt has been a shadow over California’s cannabis industry for a while. In fact, a report from 2022 revealed that the industry had accumulated over $600 million in debt. But what’s triggering alarms now is a recent tweak in tax laws. Instead of distributors, retailers are now held responsible for paying cannabis excise taxes. And, it seems like many shops weren’t prepared for this change. On May 1st, about 265 pot shops, which account for over 13% of the state’s retailers, couldn’t make their tax payment. Now, they’re staring at a hefty 50% penalty on the pending taxes. This might just be the breaking point for many of these struggling businesses.
Cannabis Infused Drinks
Cannabis-infused drinks are making waves as the latest trend in the cannabis industry. Big players in the drinks sector, like Constellation Brands and Anheuser-Busch InBev, are keen to dive into this rapidly expanding market. Yet, the journey hasn’t been smooth for everyone.
A few years ago, Constellation Brands ventured into the cannabis realm by pouring $4 billion into Canopy Growth and soon launched its CBD drinks brand, Quatreu, in the U.S. However, things didn’t quite pan out as expected. Last year, they faced a significant setback, having to absorb a $1.1 billion non-cash impairment charge on Canopy and a $651 million equity loss.
On a similar note, the beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev also took a leap into the cannabis drinks scene. Back in December 2018, they inked a $50 million joint venture deal with Tilray Brands, leading to the birth of Fluent Beverage Co. But as fate would have it, this venture faced challenges, causing both companies to go their separate ways last year. For some context on the scale of Anheuser-Busch InBev, they raked in a whopping $57.7 billion in 2022 alone, cementing their position as the world’s largest beer producer.
Cities with the Highest Weed Consumption in the World are Listed Below:
1. New York, NY, USA
Total Weed Consumption: 62.3 metric tons
Earlier this year, New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul shared an optimistic forecast: she anticipates the state raking in $1.25 billion from the freshly legalized cannabis market over the next half-decade. This projection includes an impressive $56 million just in the inaugural year after sales kicked off in December 2022.
But it’s not just about the revenue. The cannabis sector is set to bring a surge of employment opportunities to New York. By 2025, the state is looking at the addition of around 63,000 jobs, as per estimates from CannabizTeam, a well-known industry staffing firm. This job influx comes as a much-needed relief for New York, especially since its employment rebound post-pandemic has been somewhat slower than the rest of the nation.
And here’s a fun fact: New York tops the charts as the world’s highest weed consumer city.
2. Sydney, Australia
Total Weed Consumption: 45.8 metric tons
Australia’s budding legal marijuana market, which includes both cannabis and hemp, was just finding its footing in 2021 with a valuation of $51.8 million. Looking ahead, it’s expected to grow at a rate of 30.1% annually from 2022 through to 2030.
As of 2023, Australia seems to have quite the affinity for weed. In fact, it’s among the top countries for cannabis consumption, with 36% of folks aged 14 and up saying they’ve tried it at least once. If you’re in Sydney and thinking of joining the stats, be ready to part with about $10.7 for a gram.
3. Los Angeles, CA, USA
Total Weed Consumption: 35 metric tons
California, often referred to as the hub for top-notch weed in America, recorded an impressive $5.3 billion in legal sales last year. In 2022 alone, the state raked in over $1 billion from cannabis taxes, leading the pack nationwide. But there’s a flip side: the state’s steep taxes on cannabis mean that many enthusiasts are turning to the illicit market. In fact, for every three cannabis purchases in California, two are from this shadow market. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that about two-thirds of California’s municipalities don’t permit legal cannabis activities, giving the untaxed illegal market a leg up.
If you zoom into the City of Angels, the official count from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulations states there are 238 sanctioned cannabis dispensaries.
4. Chicago, IL, USA
Total Weed Consumption: 24.9 metric tons
Since January 1st, 2020, Illinois has given the green light to the legal recreational use and sale of cannabis products. By the end of 2022, sales soared to a whopping $1.5 billion, marking a 13% increase from the previous year.
But it’s not just about business for Illinois; they’re on a mission to ensure fairness in the burgeoning cannabis industry. Since last November, the state has awarded social equity dispensary licenses to over two dozen operators. These licenses aim to pave the way for budding entrepreneurs, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds. It’s worth noting, Chicago holds its rank as one of the top cities in the nation for drug consumption.
5. Rome, Italy
Total Weed Consumption: 21.9 metric tons
Currently, Italy has given the nod to the use of cannabis for medical and industrial purposes, though under tight regulations. Recreational use, on the other hand, has been decriminalized. Interestingly, Italy has seen a surge in the retail market for ‘cannabis light’, which can be likened to decaf coffee in the marijuana world. This unexpected trend emerged from a law initially intended to position Italy as a leading producer of industrial hemp.
6. Houston, TX, USA
Total Weed Consumption: 18.5 metric tons
Back in April, the Texas House of Representatives took a significant step by tentatively approving a bill that would decriminalize possession of minor amounts of marijuana. While Texas has loosened its stance somewhat, accessing legal marijuana is still quite restrictive and necessitates a prescription. Though around 50,000 Texans are registered, it’s believed that only about 10,000 actively use medical marijuana. Interestingly, Houston holds the 6th spot on the list of the world’s top weed-consuming cities.
7. Tokyo, Japan
Total Weed Consumption: 16.7 metric tons
CBD has been available in Japan since 2013 and its popularity is on the rise. With this growing demand, experts predict that Japan’s legal cannabis market could reach a value of $800 million by 2024. However, it’s worth noting that recreational marijuana is still off the table in the Land of the Rising Sun.
8. Toronto, Canada
Total Weed Consumption: 16.7 metric tons
Ontario spent over $1.3 billion on legal cannabis, a jump of 38% from the previous year. The province now boasts around 1,700 legal cannabis shops, with Toronto alone being home to 400 of them.
9. Prague, Czech Republic
Total Weed Consumption: 15.5 metric tons
Following ten years of gradual changes, the Czech Republic is gearing up to roll out a fully legal and regulated cannabis market, thanks to the Addiction Policy Action Plan approved this April. As part of a broader European trend, Czechia might soon be among the first EU nations to have a legally structured cannabis market. Notably, it’s already listed among the top Cities with the Highest Weed Consumption in the World.
10. Vienna, Austria
Total Weed Consumption: 15 metric tons
With a population of over 8.5 million, Austria boasts one of the highest numbers of medicinal cannabis users in Europe, indicating a substantial potential market. Additionally, Vienna holds the 10th spot on our list of the world’s top weed-consuming cities.
11. Hamburg, Germany
Total Weed Consumption: 12.9 metric tons
Come year’s end, German adults will have the freedom to cultivate and enjoy recreational cannabis either privately or within non-profit member clubs. This is a shift from earlier government considerations of allowing cannabis sales in local stores and pharmacies throughout the nation.
12. Phoenix, AZ, USA
Total Weed Consumption: 11.4 metric tons
Arizona has taken a forward-thinking approach to cannabis banking, even though it’s a bit tight and can get pricey. Once banks declare they’re partnering with cannabis-related businesses, they get labeled as a CRB. This means the FDIC keeps a closer eye on them, leading these banks to hike up their service fees. On the bright side, legal cannabis sales boosted the state’s coffers with a cool $256 million in tax revenue in 2022.
13. Melbourne, Australia
Total Weed Consumption: 11 metric tons
Greens senator David Shoebridge suggests that the black market in Australia might be pocketing as much as $16.5 billion annually from the cannabis industry. However, if legalized, cannabis could generate a hefty $18.5 billion in public funds over ten years. Drawing inspiration from Canada’s approach, Shoebridge is set to propose a bill that would allow adults in Australia to buy cannabis from certified vendors and state-controlled shops.
14. Montreal, Canada
Total Weed Consumption: 11 metric tons
In 2022, about one in five people in Quebec tried cannabis, marking a 5% rise since its legalization in 2018. The province witnessed a sales boost of 20% in 2021-2022 compared to the year before, raking in a solid $160 million. Notably, Canada stands strong as one of the top 10 cannabis-consuming nations globally.
15. Philadelphia, PA, USA
Total Weed Consumption: 10.6 metric tons
Since 2014, Philadelphia has taken a more lenient approach to marijuana possession and use. While it’s not fully legal in Philly, carrying small amounts has been decriminalized, ensuring that minor offenses won’t lead to arrests. Interestingly, Philadelphia holds the 15th spot on the global list of top cities for cannabis consumption.
16. Üsküdar, Turkey
Total Weed Consumption: 7.9 metric tons
While recreational cannabis is off-limits in Turkey, there’s a green light for its use in specific medical and scientific contexts. Interestingly, the country has also started to cultivate hemp once again.
17. Vancouver, Canada
Total Weed Consumption: 7.9 metric tons
Since cannabis was legalized in British Columbia in 2018, the region has seen the rise of several major cannabis players. A standout is Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY). They’ve recently caught the spotlight with their impressive $56 million acquisition of Hexo. While Tilray originated in Canada, they’ve set their sights on dominating the U.S. recreational cannabis scene. Now based in New York, they’re counted among the world’s top cannabis giants.
18. Dublin, Ireland
Total Weed Consumption: 7.1 metric tons
In Ireland, recreational cannabis is off the table, and medical use needs a nod from the Health Ministry on a case-by-case basis. However, that hasn’t stopped a good chunk of the population from lighting up. A 2021 Eurobarometer survey reveals that about 17% of the Irish have tried cannabis products, making Ireland one of Europe’s top weed-consuming countries.
19. Adelaide, Australia
Total Weed Consumption: 6.8 metric tons
In South Australia, you’ll need a prescription to access cannabis legally. Recreational use and growing your own plants are still no-gos. On another note, the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program has dubbed the region as Australia’s methamphetamine hotspot.
20. Denver, CO, USA
Total Weed Consumption: 6.8 metric tons
Marijuana sales in Denver have seen a dip, with a significant 22% drop from 2021 to 2022, marking the biggest decline since its legalization. As a result, the city’s marijuana tax revenue also decreased, settling at $18 million for 2022. Meanwhile, in the broader scope, between 12-20% of Americans said they’ve enjoyed some weed in the past year, placing the U.S. high on the list of countries with the most per capita cannabis consumption.
Cannabis consumption has, over the years, experienced shifts both in legal standing and cultural acceptance across the globe. As a result, some cities have emerged as notable hubs for marijuana use, either due to lenient regulations, cultural embrace, or a combination of factors. From the bustling alleys of Amsterdam, with its iconic coffee shops, to the progressive streets of Denver, where legalization has paved the way for a booming industry, the global landscape of cannabis consumption is diverse.
Cities like Los Angeles and Toronto showcase the potential of integrating cannabis into mainstream commerce, whereas places like Vienna and Prague demonstrate Europe’s evolving relationship with the herb. Additionally, survey-based data, such as the Eurobarometer in Ireland, reveals insights into regional preferences and trends. While consumption levels can be influenced by a myriad of factors, including legalization, cultural acceptance, and availability, what’s undeniable is the growing role of cannabis in the global tapestry of cultures and economies. As more countries grapple with the question of legalization and regulation, it will be interesting to see how these rankings evolve and which cities will emerge as the new frontiers of cannabis consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Cities with the Highest Weed Consumption in the World
Which cities are known for the highest cannabis consumption globally?
Cities like Amsterdam, Denver, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Prague are among those with a high consumption rate of cannabis, largely influenced by local regulations, culture, and availability.
How do regulations impact cannabis consumption in cities?
The legal status of cannabis greatly influences its consumption. Cities in regions where recreational use is legal, such as Denver and Los Angeles, tend to have higher consumption rates, whereas in areas with stricter regulations, usage might be lower or driven underground.
Are European cities seeing a growth in cannabis consumption?
Yes, several European cities, including Amsterdam, Vienna, and Prague, have become notable for their cannabis consumption. Europe’s evolving relationship with marijuana, marked by decriminalization or medical use allowances in some countries, contributes to this trend.
How does cultural acceptance influence cannabis consumption in cities?
Cultural acceptance plays a significant role. Cities with a long-standing tradition or general societal acceptance of cannabis use, like Amsterdam, tend to have higher consumption rates compared to places where it’s culturally taboo.
Is the increase in cannabis consumption primarily recreational or medicinal?
It varies by city. Some cities have seen a rise due to medical cannabis acceptance, while others, where recreational use is legal, see consumption driven by both recreational and medicinal users.
Which cities have integrated cannabis into mainstream commerce?
Los Angeles and Toronto stand out as cities that have effectively integrated cannabis into mainstream commerce, with numerous dispensaries, cafes, and even tourism centered around it.
Are cities with high cannabis consumption also major producers of the herb?
Not necessarily. While some cities with high consumption also have a thriving cultivation scene, others might import a significant portion of their cannabis.
How reliable are the consumption statistics for cities where cannabis is illegal?
In cities where cannabis is illegal, consumption statistics often rely on indirect measures like surveys or wastewater analysis. These methods provide estimates but might not capture the full extent of usage.
Yes, in many cases. Cities like Amsterdam are well-known for cannabis tourism, attracting visitors keen on experiencing the city’s famous coffee shops and cannabis culture.
Are there any global events that celebrate or highlight the cannabis culture of these high-consuming cities?
Absolutely! Events like 4/20 celebrations, cannabis expos, and festivals are common in cities with a rich cannabis culture, celebrating the herb and providing a platform for enthusiasts to connect.