Eric Casey

As part of my job covering the weed beat, I frequent the “cannabis” section of one of the nation’s largest press release databases. Most of the releases I see here are either a bunch of financial mumbo jumbo or meaningless hype meant to drive up the value of cannabis stocks, so I was happy to find a link to a new study — conducted by some company called Real Estate Witch — proclaiming to have determined “the best city for cannabis in America.”

Opening up the page, I wondered where amongst the top ten our fair city would fall. After all, it’s clear to anyone who is familiar with the New England cannabis scene that Worcester is one of the top pot cities in America. Our 14 dispensaries include outlets representing everyone from the largest cannabis companies in the world to small, locally and minority owned shops. Plus, anyone familiar with this publication knows that there’s endless entertainment options to enjoy here in Worcester while stoned.

So I was shocked to see that Worcester is nowhere to be found on this list. Local rivals like Hartford and Providence somehow pass us, and even more baffling is the fact that several cities in states with cannabis laws stuck in the 1980s (like Utah and Texas) are featured on the top 50 list. Even the worst city on the list — Birmingham, Alabama — is apparently somehow better than Worcester. 

Taking a look at the metrics used by this so-called study, it quickly becomes obvious why its findings were bunk. Some of the items that influence a city’s score include the amount of dispensary ratings and overall web traffic it provides to (one of the study’s partners, of course!) and how many Taco Bells it has per 100,000 residents (cringe).

While Worcester’s disappointing ratio of just 1.456 Taco Bells per 100,000 residents apparently puts us behind renowned culinary hotspots like Jacksonville and Salt Lake City, I think our city’s large number of locally owned restaurants that serve food that is actually edible is a slightly more important metric for cannabis-focused visitors to consider. 

This study also fails to take into account the fact that Worcester is home to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, as well as the region’s only cannabis consumption lounge. Even corporate institutions like the local Chamber of Commerce and the city’s minor league baseball franchise have established various relationships and partnerships with cannabis businesses and organizations, proving that (unlike a dozens of cities on the list) Worcester has little shame about embracing this newly legal industry. 

I’m not the only one to note Worcester’s rightful place as one of the top cannabis destinations in America; as Travis covered in a previous 420 in 508, a study conducted by LawnStarter in 2021 showed us to be in the top 20 cities in the country to get stoned. 

Apparently anybody can do some calculations and come up with their own top cannabis city list. That’s why I’m excited to announce that after conducting a very scientific study of my own, I’ve determined that Worcester is in fact the best city for cannabis in America. I used the following formula to make this calculation:

  1. Is the city Worcester, Massachusetts?
    1. If yes, 500 points.
    2. If no, zero points.

Worcester demolished the competition, coming in 1st place with 500 points. The rest of the 249 largest municipalities in the U.S. tied for 2nd, with zero points.

Congratulations to Worcester!

Eric Casey is a Worcester-based writer who mostly focuses on the cannabis space. You can find his other work at, or on instagram @BurnAfterReading420.