NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Since then, 38 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, with 20 states—and the District of Columbia—legalizing it for recreational use.
In Tennessee, both medical and recreational marijuana use are illegal. After proposed legislation to legalize medical cannabis failed during this year’s General Assembly, it will be at least another year before there is any change to that status.
MAP | What states near Tennessee allow medical cannabis?
A recent study from Clever Real Estate looked at the best and worst weed cities in the U.S. Based on the research, Nashville was named the 6th worst city for marijuana—four spots higher than where Music City ranked in 2022. (A look at the methodology Clever used.)
According to the data, Nashville has 0.8 dispensaries per 100,000 residents. By comparison, the national average is 3.1.
Clever found the price of “high-quality marijuana” is about 8% higher in the bottom 10 cities than the national average. In Nashville, one ounce of “high-quality” weed costs residents an average of $343, which is 9% more than the national average ($316).
The study also ranked cities by their “Pot Passion” scores (which is based on Google Trends data for 12 cannabis search terms made over a 12-month period). Nashville’s score (70) puts Music City just under the national average (73).
One area where Nashville did rank in the top 15 was Taco Bells per capita—the restaurant of choice after consuming marijuana. According to Clever, Music City ranks 13th on the list with 7.4 Taco Bells per 100,000 residents, 17% higher than the national average.
It likely comes as no surprise that cannabis is illegal for recreational use in all the bottom 10 cities. However, cannabis was fully legalized in the “worst” weed city of 2022—Washington D.C. This year the nation’s capital jumped all the way to the 23rd best weed city. Of the bottom 10 cities, this year’s “worst” city, Birmingham, Ala., is the only city where marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes.
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Nashville isn’t the only place in Tennessee to land on the list of worst weed cities. Memphis was named the 2nd worst pot city in the U.S. for 2023—jumping from the 4th worst in 2022. You can check out the rest of the 10 worst weed cities here.
On the flip side, Portland, Oregon was named the best weed city in the country—leapfrogging last year’s #1, Denver, Colorado. You can see the full list of top weed cities in 2023, here.
Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) sponsored the bill to create a medical cannabis program in the state (SB1104).
After the measure was voted down by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bowling told News 2’s Chris O’Brien she intends to bring the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act back up next year. “The bill is good…The bill really demonstrates seed to sale, everything that has to be done.”
According to Pew Research Center, 88% of U.S. adults believe marijuana should be legal in some form.