Pew Research Center: Most Americans Live in County with at Least One Cannabis Dispensary

A Pew Research Center analysis has revealed that 79% of Americans now live in counties that contain at least one legal cannabis dispensary.

Full story after the jump.

The majority of Americans – 79% – now live in a county with at least one cannabis dispensary, according to an analysis from Pew Research Center, with 74% living in a state where cannabis is legal for medical or adult use. According to Pew, 54% live in a state where adult-use cannabis is legal.    

The Pew analysis found nearly 15,000 cannabis dispensaries in the U.S. with California hosting about a quarter – 3,659 in all. Los Angeles County hosts 1,481 dispensaries, more than any other state other than California.  

Pew counted 1,405 dispensaries in Oklahoma – the most per capita of any state with 36 dispensaries for every 100,000 residents. Oklahoma has not legalized cannabis for adult use, but its medical cannabis program is one of the country’s most permissive.     

Pew also found that in states that have legalized cannabis for adult use that border states that still prohibit cannabis use by adults, dispensaries often cluster on the border of the state that has not passed the reforms. There are 64 dispensaries in New Mexico within 20 miles of its border with Texas, according to Pew. Overall, one in every five dispensaries in the U.S. is located within 20 miles of a state border and 29% of the border dispensaries adjoin a neighboring state with less permissive cannabis laws.  

The Pew analysis also found that in four states that have legalized cannabis for both adult and medical purposes – Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia – median annual household incomes are at least $20,000 lower in areas with high dispensary concentrations than areas with low concentrations of dispensaries; while in New Hampshire and New York, by contrast, median household incomes are around $20,000 or more higher in areas with many dispensaries than in areas with few dispensaries. 

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