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It’s home to the largest collection of cherry blossom trees and a hotspot for insurance companies — but one thing Newark, New Jersey, isn’t is a weed lover’s paradise.

The Gateway City once again ranked dead last in an annual ranking of the best cities for marijuana lovers, falling below Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Joliet, Illinois, according to Lawnstarter, a lawn care startup that knows a thing or two about weeds, in observance of 4/20, the universally recognized marijuana holiday that falls on April 20.

The list, which ranks cities based on their hospitality to marijuana users based on factors including access to legal pot, consumer satisfaction, convenience, lounging, entertainment and munchie relief, selected San Francisco as the end-all be-all for pot-smokers.

Three out of the top five cities on the list hailed from California and all five were out west, with San Francisco followed by Los Angeles, Denver, Santa Ana and Las Vegas.

“California is the undisputed mover and shaker of the recreational pot scene,” Lawnstarter wrote in its report.  Although pot pioneers Colorado and Washington state had a four-year head start on California, six of our top 10 cities — plus another seven in our top 20 — are all in the Golden State. Many early adopters, particularly in Colorado and Oregon, also retain the upper hand in our 2023 ranking.”

San Francisco took the top spot for the second year in a row, scoring a 59.77 out of 100. The report notes that San Francisco leads the nation in weed consumption lounges, while Los Angeles boasts its own “bud and breakfast” that supplies guests with unlimited weed. Las Vegas, which ranked fifth, counts its own magic show that caters to stoners — Smokus Pocus — which invites audience members to “arrive baked” and “leave bewildered.”

Denver, which ranked third, is home to Colorado Cannabis Tours, which takes weed enthusiasts on a 420-friendly party bus tour of dispensaries and growing facilities. Santa Ana, meanwhile earned the third highest customer satisfaction score out of any city for its high rated dispensaries.

Newark, where under New Jersey state law up to one ounce of dry marijuana, five grams of concentrates, resins and oils, and up to one gram of edible cannabis can be purchased legally by consumers 21 years of age or older, received an overall score of 1.825 from Lawnstarter thanks to low rankings across the board in convenience, consumer satisfaction, lounging and entertainment categories. By comparison, San Francisco drew a score of 59.774.

Email Ben Verde

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