For the past three years, one thing has proved certain in the world of legalized marijuana: Denver reigns as the capital of cannabis.
The Colorado city has seen its economy transformed since the legalization of marijuana in the Rocky Mountain State in 2014. By some estimates, 18,000 jobs have been created in Colorado, many in the Denver area. Commercial real estate has experienced a robust run as marijuana growers seek space to grow and house legal cannabis.
With the sweeping approval of recreational marijuana this past November in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine, a handful of cities have emerged that should experience the benefits the cannabis industry has given the Mile High City.
Cannabis Capitals Emerging
The job and economic growth seen in Denver likely will hit these cities as well. And no matter what city emerges as the “capital” in the marijuana industry, all of these cities should see the benefit of the legal marijuana industry.
Los Angeles ranks high on everyone’s list as the future capital of legal marijuana.
The reason are not complicated. California leads the nation in population and has an economy bigger than most nations. While the legalization of medical marijuana has been a multimillion dollar business, recreational marijuana could create a $1 billion business in the Golden State in just the next few years. And as the center of the massive Southern California population, Los Angeles stands to gain the most from the change.
While primarily associated with the West Coast, the legal marijuana movement got a big win with voters approving recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. Boston now emerges as a potential mecca for marijuana. Also, AmeriCann has plans to build the biggest marijuana facility in the United States down the road in Freetown. The “canna-business park” will have 1 million square feet of space for cultivation, a testing lab and production of cannabis-infused products.
While it doesn’t get as much publicity as California or Massachusetts, Nevada has also joined the ranks of states where recreational marijuana is legal. What better city to maximize on the potential of the business than Las Vegas? Obviously, the city already draws millions of visitors each year. Up to 80 licenses for recreational marijuana retail stores in Clark County, home to Las Vegas. And while it’s not scientific, Snopp Dogg already showed up for the opening of a Las Vegas-based dispensary, and that has to count for something.
Like its rival city in Southern California, San Francisco should see a cannabis business boom with recreational marijuana becoming legal in California. The movement to legalize recreational marijuana also started in downtown San Francisco. Some of the biggest cannabis cultivation sites also reside in the Bay Area.
Of course, Seattle and Portland also have already seen the benefits of the legalized cannabis industry. But because of the huge populations in California and Massachusetts – as well as Las Vegas being a destination for millions – chances are one of the above cities will emerge to challenge Denver as the nation’s cannabis capital.