New York – The World’s Cannabis Capital

Grand opening of the CBD Kratom marijuana dispensary store in New York The World's Cannabis Capital
Opening of the Kratom marijuana dispensary store in New York Photo: Shutterstock

New York ranks as the world’s cannabis capital, blazing through 62.3 tonnes of pot per year, with seven US cities on the global scoreboard
LA, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Denver are in the top 20

New York City has ranked as the world’s cannabis capital, where denizens blaze through 62.3 tonnes of pot each year, significantly more than runners-up Sydney and Los Angeles.

The scorecard from CFAH, a wellness group, placed five other US cities in the top 20 — Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Denver — each consuming at least 6.8 tonnes of weed each year.

Europe and North America dominate the table. The only other country that comes close to the US is Canada, with four cities — Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Annapolis — in the rankings.

CFAH’s report, the 2023 Cannabis Global Price Index, stokes fears that the legalization of cannabis across 23 US states and Washington DC is driving consumption, especially among teens and young adults.

Advocates say pot has health and social benefits, but critics say widespread use leads to higher rates of mental health problems, substance abuse and even more stoned drivers causing car crashes.

Kevin Sabet, a former White House drugs tsar who now heads the Smart Approaches to Marijuana campaign, says New York and other cities that legalize cannabis are creating problems down the road.

‘When drugs are legal, their price plummets, availability soars, and the commercialization and industrialization machines take hold,’ Sabet posted on social media this week.

For their league table, researchers also looked at the price of cannabis globally.

Residents of Tokyo pay the most for pot, at nearly $34 per gram. Users in Dublin, in Ireland, Tallinn, in Estonia, and the Israeli city of Rishon LeTsiyon also pay over the odds for a smoke.

Bargain seekers should head for Montreal, where a gram of weed costs less than $6. Other Canadian cities, as well as Bangalore in India and the Afghan capital Kabul, are also good for a cheap buzz.

In the US, Washington DC, Seattle, and New York have among the most expensive hits. In Denver, Los Angeles and Portland, pot costs as little as $7 per gram, says the report, which was released this week.

With legalization, the cost of pot falls by more than 11 percent, they found.

This could mean prices dropping to as little as $5.61 per gram for Americans this decade.

New York legalized recreational cannabis use for adults in 2021, and launched its licensing and retail sales program at the start of 2023. This month, it approved hundreds of more retail licenses, while cracking down on unlicensed stores.

Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana with a law, passed earlier this year, that came into effect on August 1.