While cannabis has gone from a criminalized drug to a multibillion-dollar boom in recent years, very little data exists on how interest and consumer demand differ around the country, according to Michael Coleman, the vice president of sales and marketing at Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC: MJNA), told Benzinga.
"We believe this study can be useful for cannabis executives and entrepreneurs who are looking to make strategic decisions about which markets to enter," he said of the company's most recent report on geographical interest on cannabis across the U.S.
"Data and research can help predict where the industry is headed and what consumers will want next. Ultimately, becoming more data-driven is one of the key ways for the sector to be taken seriously and advocate for itself."
The following are highlights from Medical Marijuana Inc.'s report on interest in marijuana in cities nationwide.
Out of the 182 metropolitan areas included in the analysis, Eureka, California had the highest interest in cannabis. B
In contrast, the Rio Grande Valley region in southern Texas scored as the least interested. Second on the list came Medford-Klamath Falls in southern Oregon. And perhaps surprisingly, three areas in Oklahoma cracked the top 10.
The following map indicates the rates in which particular areas make cannabis-related Google searches.
Map courtesy of Medical Marijuana, Inc.
The Top 10 Cities Interested In Cannabis
- Eureka, California: Eureka is a small town in Northern California. It’s not at all unexpected for Eureka to take the top spot for cannabis interest: the city is positioned in the epicenter of cannabis production in the United States.
- Medford and Klamath Falls, Oregon: Medford and Klamath Falls are both located in southern Oregon, one of the most progressive states when it comes to marijuana legalization.
- Sherman, Texas and Ada, Oklahoma: Sherman and Ada are divided by the border between northern Texas and southern Oklahoma. Although locals from both metros have a high interest in cannabis, they both are located in states where marijuana consumption is restricted.
- Traverse City and Cadillac, Michigan: With Michigan voting in 2018 in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, it’s not unexpected that this area has a high interest in cannabis. Retail sales are on track to begin Dec. 1.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma: Since voters legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma a year ago, more than 170 dispensaries have become licensed in Tulsa.
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: With numerous marijuana dispensaries are operating in Oklahoma City, the state's booming industry is generating interest from residents who perhaps only a few years ago had never considered including cannabis in their routine.
- Bangor, Maine: With medical and recreational marijuana legal in Maine, it’s to be expected that a city in this part of the country would be interested in cannabis.
- Grand Junction and Montrose, Colorado: Colorado remains one of the most liberal states when it comes to pot.
- Chico and Redding, California: Redding has been referred to as a “cannabis island” because it’s the only community between Sacramento and Shasta Lake where legal cannabis is available.
- Eugene, Oregon: With a local hippie culture and liberal state laws towards cannabis use, it makes sense Eugene would rank in the top 10.
Of the top 10 list, seven are located in states that have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Yet this report shows a high interest in cannabis on some conservative states, perhaps giving a glimpse at what's coming for the rest of the U.S.
Marijuana laws in Texas are among the strictest in the U.S. Conservative legislators opposed cannabis legalization, but the interest of the people may start moving forward that position.
Nine states could vote on marijuana proposals in 2020.
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