Both the legal and illegal cannabis markets in America rake in tons of profits. The recreational industry in Colorado alone has made over ten billion dollars of taxable sales since its inception. With numbers like that, there’s no denying that the United States loves weed. If you’re still not convinced, a study conducted by the Pew Research Center determined that over 90% of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana. Further backed by 60% that are in favor of creating legal recreational markets.
While the battle for cannabis legalization is far from over, state-level legislation is finally starting to match up with the will of the people. During the 2020 election, four new states (Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota) voted to legalize recreational marijuana, making 15 in total.
As more legal markets open up across the nation, the long-held debate over which state produces the very best cannabis heats up as well. Curious as to where to find the dankest bud in the whole United States? Keep reading to find out.
Let’s start by looking at the first state in the union to legalize recreational marijuana — Colorado.
The Mile High State is one of the most cannabis-friendly places in the country. The local growers out there have tremendous amounts of experience cultivating their cannabis crop. Colorado has some of the largest cannabis seed banks, which give cultivators easy access to rare and potent strains.
As a result, Colorado cultivators often find themselves on the cutting-edge when it comes to cross-breeding new strains. Take, for example, Charlotte's Web, a strain many consider to be the first real CBD-rich bud created by the Stanely Brothers out of Colorado.
On the downside, the extremely high altitude and cold climate aren’t the most conducive to outdoor growing.
Washington state legalized recreational cannabis in 2012 alongside Colorado, cementing its legacy as one of the first places in America to do so. Like Colorado, Washington’s recreational growers have had plenty of time to develop cultivation techniques, which has led to some seriously phenomenal bud.
However, it’s almost all indoor-grown due to climate restrictions.
Directly south of Washington sits Oregon—a beautiful section of the country with lush forests and snowcapped mountain peaks. The first thing you’ll notice in a Portland dispensary is the price. The Beaver State boasts some of the most affordable marijuana prices in the whole country.
Don’t just assume it’s low quality because of the price, though. Oregon’s known for producing iconic strains of cannabis like Jack Herer, and for having excellent growing conditions in the southern half of the state.
However, cultivators haven’t flocked to Oregon the way they have to other states, and the cannabis community isn’t all that large.
The state of California is known worldwide for its cannabis. Cali cultivators produce more bud than any other state out there, and the quality is famously superb. It makes sense when you consider that people have been smoking and growing marijuana in the Golden State since the ‘60s.
California is home to the Emerald Triangle—a section of the state made up of three counties (Humbolt, Trinity, and Mendocino) that’s been instrumental in supplying cannabis to the entire country for over 50 years. Flower grown in the Emerald Triangle has a reputation for being top-shelf, tasty, and extremely potent.
While the Emerald Triangle gets the most attention, the neverending sunshine in the southern half of California makes for ideal outdoor growing conditions. This sunshine gives growers a larger window of time to plant and harvest.
For our money, California cannabis is unrivaled in quality. You may be paying more for a quarter than you would in Oregon, but for enthusiasts looking for the finest buds, look no further than California.