MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in December 2012 and the state of Washington followed soon after them. Now, 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana in some form.
In a report from Clever Real Estate, Memphis is cited as the #4 city with the fewest dispensaries, the #1 least passionate weed city, and the #4 overall least welcoming city for marijuana.
In related news, Memphis ranks No. 6. for most Taco Bells per capita (3.48 per 100,000 residents), according to news partner WKRN. The Nashville station also says:
— Memphis has zero dispensaries and just 0.4 head shops per 100,000 residents.
— Memphis has a pot passion score of just 18 out of 100.
— An ounce of high-quality weed costs $336 in Memphis. If consumed once a month for a year that would cost $4,035.
— Memphis residents would spend 4.28% of their annual income on weed if they purchased an ounce of high- and medium-quality weed once a quarter.
In Tennessee, marijuana is illegal for both recreational and medical purposes. A bill was introduced this year by Representative Bob Freeman (D-Nashville) in an attempt to legalize marijuana in the state, but HB 1968 never made it to a full vote.
“It highlights the fact that we are continuing to turn our back to the potential revenue for taxing this legally — people are already using it or else they wouldn’t be getting picked up and we’re criminalizing this putting people in jail for what is legal in other states,” Freeman told our news partner WKRN.
In a fiscal impact report from the state of Tennessee, legalization could increase state revenue by over $65 million in 2023 alone and is projected to increase each subsequent year.
Mississippi is in the throes of legalization and the process is still an ongoing matter of debate for individual cities and counties. While medical marijuana programs are available to those with severe illnesses, recreational seems far from a reality.
Arkansas has recently passed medical marijuana provisions to allow residents to apply for medical marijuana cards in order to access dispensaries. Arkansas’s dispensaries opened for business in 2019 and so far, over 82,000 people have applied for ID cards.
The state of Arkansas has already seen dividends from medical programs, with over $20 million in sales by February 2022.
The United States House of Representatives recently passed legislation HR 3617 Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act by a vote of 220-204. The bill has been sent to the Senate for further debate.
The Senate bill is expected to meet a stalemate as at least 10 Republican votes are needed to break the filibuster, which seems unlikely.