This City in California is Smoking More Weed Than Anywhere Else in the State
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This City in California is Smoking More Weed Than Anywhere Else in the State

California is famous for having the world’s biggest legal marijuana market, with around 10 million pounds consumed each year. However, some cities in the state use more marijuana than others, and one of them is Ridgecrest, a small city in the Mojave Desert with about 30,000 people.

It’s nicknamed “Weed City” because it consumes a lot of cannabis, estimated at about 1,000 pounds per day. Here, we’ll look into the history, challenges, and benefits of Ridgecrest’s cannabis culture.

We’ll also compare it to other cities in California and see how it fits into the state’s complex and changing marijuana laws. Lastly, we’ll discuss what the future might hold and how Ridgecrest’s enthusiasm for cannabis could affect the city’s economy and society.

History of Cannabis Culture in Ridgecrest

Ridgecrest is a little town in the Mojave Desert, home to around 30,000 people. The community’s interest in cannabis started in the 1970s when hippies and those against the mainstream culture settled in the area, bringing their fondness for marijuana.

Over time, Ridgecrest became a center for growing and distributing cannabis, drawing in people from different parts of the country. Nowadays, the town has a successful legal cannabis industry, hosting more than 200 licensed businesses and making about $100 million in revenue each year.

This City in California is Smoking More Weed Than Anywhere Else in the State
Image By: WDAF

Challenges and Benefits of Cannabis Dependence in Ridgecrest

Ridgecrest has difficulties because it relies heavily on cannabis. The city deals with problems like a lot of people being out of work, living in poverty, and crime being high.

Many folks have a hard time finding steady jobs and homes in the area. Some also have health issues like breathing problems, anxiety, and mental health problems because of using cannabis for a long time.

However, some people in Ridgecrest find cannabis helpful. They believe it helps them handle stress, pain, and boredom. They also like the social part of sharing cannabis with friends and neighbors. Some even say it boosts their creativity and spirituality.

Read More: These Towns in California Have the Best Weed Tourism Experiences

Comparison with Other California Cities

Ridgecrest isn’t the only place excited about cannabis. California is the world’s biggest legal weed market, consuming around 10 million pounds annually.

Yet, experts caution that California’s cannabis success might not last. The supply is growing faster than demand, and competition among growers is heating up. The state’s cannabis laws are also complicated, causing legal uncertainties for both consumers and producers.

This City in California is Smoking More Weed Than Anywhere Else in the State

Exporting marijuana to other states is not allowed due to its Schedule 1 drug status by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Despite this, some locals claim they’ve figured out ways to smuggle weed across state lines or use it as a form of currency for other goods and services. This creates a black market, undermining the legitimacy and regulation of the legal industry.

In addition, California has a lower smoking rate compared to other states. The adult cigarette smoking rate in California dropped by 57.4 percent from 1988 to 2017, with the current rate at 10.1 percent, or roughly 2.8 million adults. This suggests that fewer Californians are interested in smoking tobacco products than marijuana products.

Read More: These Towns in the U.S. Have the Most Progressive Cannabis Laws

What Are the Laws Around Cannabis in California?

In California, it’s okay for adults 21 and older to use cannabis, whether for medical reasons or just for fun. But, there are rules to follow:

1. You can buy, use, and grow cannabis, but there are specific guidelines.
2. Check with local authorities because some cities and counties might have stricter rules.
3. Use cannabis only on private property, not in public areas like restaurants or bars.
4. No smoking in places where tobacco is banned or within 1,000 feet of schools, daycares, or youth centers with kids around.
5. Don’t use or have cannabis on federal lands or take it across state lines.
6. If you’re 21 or older, you can grow up to 6 cannabis plants at home, but be careful with certain solvents.
7. Cannabis retailers must have a license to sell, ensuring they follow rules like not selling to minors and accurately labeling THC and CBD amounts.

Read More: This California City Has Been Named as the Highest Obesity Rate in the State


Ridgecrest has really embraced the use of cannabis more than any other city in California. It’s a hub for legal weed production and use, but there are challenges because the city relies a lot on marijuana. We’re not sure how long this will continue or what effects it will have on the city’s economy and society.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.