Vermont is one of the 18 states in the U.S. that have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older. However, not all cities in Vermont have the same level of cannabis consumption. According to a recent study by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one Vermont city stands out as the most weed-friendly in the nation.
Burlington: The Cannabis Capital of the U.S.
The study, which was based on data from 2019 and 2020, ranked 384 metropolitan areas in the U.S. by the percentage of people who reported using marijuana in the past month. The results showed that Burlington, Vermont had the highest rate of cannabis use, with 35.5% of its residents admitting to smoking, vaping, or eating weed in the last 30 days. This is more than double the national average of 16.3%.
Burlington, which is the largest city in Vermont and the home of the University of Vermont, has a long history of cannabis culture and activism. In 2012, Burlington voters approved a non-binding resolution to legalize marijuana at the state level. In 2018, Burlington became the first city in Vermont to host a cannabis festival, called the Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention. And in 2020, Burlington’s city council voted to allow retail marijuana sales within the city limits, once the state regulations are finalized.
Why Burlington Loves Weed
There are many possible reasons why Burlington has such a high rate of cannabis use, ranging from social to environmental factors. Some of the potential explanations are:
Demographics: Burlington has a young and progressive population, with a median age of 26.7 and a majority of Democratic voters. Younger and more liberal people tend to be more supportive of marijuana legalization and more likely to use cannabis than older and more conservative people.
Education: Burlington is a college town, with several higher education institutions, including the University of Vermont, Champlain College, and Burlington College. College students are among the most frequent users of marijuana, with about 38% of them reporting past-month use in 2020.
Climate: Burlington has a cold and snowy climate, with an average annual snowfall of 81.2 inches and an average low temperature of 10.9°F in January. Some studies have suggested that colder and darker climates may increase the risk of depression and anxiety, which may lead some people to self-medicate with cannabis.
Culture: Burlington has a vibrant and diverse cultural scene, with a variety of music, art, food, and entertainment options. The city is known for its live music venues, such as the Higher Ground and the Flynn Center, which host local and national acts, including many cannabis-friendly artists, such as Phish, Wiz Khalifa, and Snoop Dogg. The city also has a strong local food movement, with many organic and vegetarian restaurants, farmers markets, and craft breweries, which may appeal to cannabis users who value natural and healthy products.
Burlington, Vermont is the most weed-loving city in the U.S., according to a recent study by SAMHSA. The city has a high percentage of people who use cannabis regularly, which may be influenced by its demographics, education, climate, and culture. Burlington has a reputation for being a progressive and creative city, where cannabis is widely accepted and celebrated. Whether this is a positive or negative thing depends on one’s perspective, but one thing is certain: Burlington is not afraid to be green.