This Arizona City Has the Highest Marijuana Consumption Rate in the U.S.

Marijuana, or cannabis, is a psychoactive substance obtained from the Cannabis plant, utilized for recreational or medicinal purposes, depending on its legal status and societal acceptance in various regions. In the U.S., marijuana remains federally illegal, yet many states have legalized it for medical or adult use, or both. As of a 2021 Gallup survey, 12% of American adults engage in cannabis consumption.

The rate of cannabis use varies widely across U.S. cities. This article delves into the city in Arizona with the highest marijuana consumption, based on a report by the Brightfield Group, a prominent cannabis research firm.

Phoenix: Arizona’s Cannabis Hub

Phoenix, Arizona’s capital and largest city, holds the 7th position among the top 15 cities for cannabis consumption in the U.S. in 2023, according to the Brightfield Group. The report estimates that Phoenix residents consumed 11.4 metric tons of cannabis in 2023, equivalent to about 22.8 million grams or 80.4 million joints.

Being the most populous city in the state, with an estimated 1.7 million people in 2020, the average cannabis consumption per person in Phoenix stands at about 6.7 grams or 23.8 joints per year. This surpasses the national average of 4.7 grams or 16.6 joints per person annually, calculated based on the total U.S. population of 331.4 million and a total cannabis consumption of 1,560 metric tons in 2023.

Why is Phoenix a Cannabis Hotspot?

Several factors contribute to the high cannabis consumption rate in Phoenix. One key factor is Arizona’s marijuana legal status. Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010 and adult-use marijuana in 2020, making it one of the 18 states permitting both forms of cannabis use. As of April 2021, Arizona had 295,295 registered medical marijuana patients and 130 licensed dispensaries, with reported cannabis sales reaching $1.1 billion in 2020, positioning it as the third-largest cannabis market in the U.S., after California and Colorado.

The cultural and demographic diversity of Phoenix is another influential factor. The city boasts a mix of ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds, fostering a vibrant and tolerant atmosphere for cannabis users. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Phoenix comprises 42.6% white, 41.8% Hispanic or Latino, 6.9% Black or African American, 3.7% Asian, 2.6% Native American, and 2.4% other races. With a median age of 33.5 years, compared to the national median of 38.4 years, the city also has a sizable young adult population, known for higher cannabis consumption.

The climate and geography of Phoenix, situated in the Sonoran Desert, may further impact the cannabis consumption rate. With its hot and arid weather, averaging 86.6°F, and minimal annual precipitation of 8.04 inches, the conditions might make cannabis more appealing for relaxation or enjoyment of outdoor activities in the desert and nearby mountains, such as South Mountain Park, Camelback Mountain, and the Superstition Mountains.


Phoenix emerges as the Arizona city with the highest marijuana consumption rate in the U.S., as per the Brightfield Group report. With a consumption of 11.4 metric tons in 2023, exceeding the national average, this trend in Phoenix may be influenced by the city’s legal status, cultural diversity, and climatic conditions. Phoenix stands as a cannabis hotspot, reflecting the increasing acceptance and demand for marijuana in the United States.


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