Apparently, having legal marijuana is one of the things that can make a city “cool.”
Or, at least, that’s something we can infer from the latest list of “America’s Coolest Cities” from Forbes. Although the publication doesn’t mention legal cannabis in its rankings, eight of the 10 cities have legalized marijuana.
Surely that can’t be just a coincidence.
The Legal Marijuana Connection
The people at Leafly noticed the same thing, making the connection between the legalized marijuana industry, jobs the budding industry creates, and, well, “coolness.”
Because the Forbes list is based in part on cultural amenities and economic options, the impact that the cannabis industry makes in these cities should not be underestimated. Marijuana also pours millions into government coffers that can be spent on better schools, roads and other public facilities and services.
Another thing the list shows is that if you want to be where the cool people hang out, you might want to move to the West. And California, at least according to this list, is by far America’s coolest state.
America’s Coolest City
Right at the top of the Forbes list is San Francisco, a surprise to exactly zero people. The City by the Bay often tops all kinds of cool, hip and trendy lists, and this one is no exception.
San Francisco is expected to begin sales of adult-use cannabis in 2018 along with the rest of California. The state legalized medical marijuana back in 1995 (the first state to do so). The city also is home to some of the cutting edge businesses associated with marijuana, including home delivery, cannabis social networks and cannabis investment and research firms.
The Rest of the List
Here are the rest of the coolest cities from the Forbes list.
- Seattle. The Emerald City, along with the rest of Washington, legalized adult use marijuana in 2014. It’s also experiencing a housing boom and is a soccer-crazed town, which is also pretty cool.
- San Diego. All the marijuana laws that apply to San Francisco apply here as well, except that it’s warm. And more laid back. And you can see whales pretty much any time of the year.
- New Orleans. The Big Easy is one of only two cities on the list without legal marijuana.
- Portland. Along with the rest of Oregon, Portland started a legal cannabis industry in 2015. Portland also has coffee, a great music scene and plenty of gorgeous scenery.
- San Jose. Another California city, this one the heart of Silicon Valley, the center of the universe for tech companies. And while many cities call themselves the next Silicon Valley, it appears the next Silicon Valley is still going to be in Northern California.
- Los Angeles. Many feel L.A. is the destined to become the capital of the marijuana industry once California’s adult-use sales begin in 2018.
- New York City. The second city on the list without legalized recreational marijuana.
- Boston. In addition to being an East Coast hub for education and technology, Boston also will have legal recreational marijuana sales beginning in 2018 along with the rest of Massachusetts.
- Denver. The first city associated with legalized marijuana, Denver still remains among the coolest of cities.
That’s Forbes take on America’s Coolest Cities. So maybe it has nothing to do with legal marijuana, but if not, it’s a very strange coincidence.
One thing is for sure. When it comes to coolness, the rest of America needs to start catching up with the West.