Apr 20, 2022 - News

Chicago 4/20 rankings kind of a buzzkill

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Chicago may be raking in the weed tax revenue, but our city ranks just No. 15 nationally in weed friendliness, according to a study by the real estate website Real Estate Witch.

Why it matters: Illinois dispensaries sold $1.38 billion of recreational marijuana in 2021, while 60 new craft-growing licenses and 55 new dispensary licenses will be awarded in 2022.

Yes, but: Despite promises to create the most socially equitable marijuana laws in the nation, Illinois has almost no minority-run dispensaries.

State of play: A 2021 Pew Research Center study found that 91% of Americans believe recreational and medical-use marijuana should be legal, up from 41% in 2012.

Methodology: The Real Estate Witch study considered legality, Google Trends data and weed prices.

  • It also weighed the number of music festivals and even the number of Taco Bell restaurants per 100,000 residents.

By the numbers: One ounce of high-quality weed goes for an average of $343 here, compared to $318 nationally.

  • Lollapalooza helped set a new state monthly record for weed sales last summer at $128 million.
  • Chicagoans are 50% more likely than the average American to search for a wide variety of marijuana-related terms on Google.

Of note: Milwaukee was considered one of the least-friendly weed towns in the U.S.

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