LA, NYC, and Chicago Among Top 10 In MJ Consumption Globally

Seedo has released a list of the top ten major cities across the globe that consume the most marijuana, only three of which, it turns out, are in the United States.

New York takes first place by a long shot with a whopping 77 metric tons. Los Angeles is in fourth place with a respectable 36 tons. And Chicago comes in number 8 with 25 tons.

Given the breakneck pace of growth, all three cities are expected to move up the ladder in the coming years with LA - the world’s largest marijuana market, expected to take the pole position before too long.

About Seedo’s Report

The data used to create the list was gathered by Seedo, which recently released its 2018 Cannabis Price Index. The report examined the price per gram in 120 cities worldwide to determine which cities around the globe consume the most and least marijuana each year.

The report does not make it clear how much of the tonnage is sold legally and how much is sold on the black market, but by most estimates, the black market in all three cities is still far more extensive than the legal market - even with legalization.

Here’s a complete list of the top ten cities around the world that are consuming the most marijuana per metric ton:







New York








New Delhi




Los Angeles




























Let’s take a look at the three U.S. cities making the charts.

#8. Chicago

Although Illinois does have a medical marijuana program, recreational marijuana is still illegal - but Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis last year.

Medical marijuana was legal in 19 other states, and the District of Columbia before the state’s medical laws were implemented in 2013.

Five Democrats gunning for Rauner’s job next November have stated their support for legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana, while a sixth, Chris Kennedy, says, “I don’t oppose legalization of marijuana.”

The Marijuana Policy Project says the state could reap $350 million to $700 million per year by legalizing RMJ while also reducing law enforcement costs.

It’s highly likely that Illinois will legalize recreational marijuana in the not-too-distant future.

#4. Los Angeles

California, the world’s 6th largest economy launch the legal sale of recreational marijuana on January 1st. Medical marijuana had been legal in California for over 20 years.

The state has a massive, thriving black-market marijuana industry. Cannabis is the state’s number one cash crop with an estimated value exceeding $10 billion. In fact, California grows so much weed that most of it goes to supplying the black markets in other states.

Local experts estimate the number of illegal pot shops equal or exceed the number of legal medical dispensaries. And just recently it was claimed that 99 percent of California growers are still unlicensed.

In mid-December, 12 present members of the newly formed Department of Cannabis Regulation approved preliminary regulations and ordinances related to the city’s RMJ program in a unanimous vote. Under the rules, businesses wishing to operate in Los Angeles will need to have both local and state licenses before they can go through an inspection process.

Los Angeles has issued licenses to nearly 100 marijuana retailers at the time of writing, but police estimate there are at least two times that number operating illegally in the city.

According to a report by Southern California Public Radio, police have shut down eight illegal marijuana shops since January first, most of which were operating in plain sight.

At this time, 99 businesses have been issued licenses to sell recreational cannabis in Los Angeles, but police estimate between 200 and 300 illegal cannabis shops are operating within the city. A report from the city's controller in June estimated there were more than 1,700 legal and illegal dispensaries.

#1. New York City

NYC has the distinction of being first in the world for cannabis consumption. The city’s appetite for 77.44 tons of cannabis dwarfs that of all other cities in the world. Karachi, Pakistan, at 41.95 tons, is the second biggest consumer internationally.

Using that figure, if cannabis were to be legalized and taxed it would generate more than $156 million.

"This is equivalent to providing nearly 3 months worth of free school meals to every single public school kid in New York City," says Uri Zeevi, CMO at Seedo.

New York's governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the state will be studying the effects of legalization.

The New York State Assembly held a public hearing last week to discuss the proposed Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, a bill that would legalize the production, distribution, and use of marijuana for adults over 21 in the state.

Over the past twenty years in New York, well over 100,000 New Yorkers have been negatively affected by prohibition, and a lot of money has gone up in smoke enforcing the state’s cannabis laws.

"In New York City in 2016, 18,000 arrests for marijuana procession alone," the Law Enforcement Action Partnership's Neill Franklin said. "$325 a day to incarcerate somebody in the city. That's a lot of money."

Assemblyman Gottfried said the bill could come to the floor of the Assembly later this year.

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