Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction

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Since 2012, various jurisdictions in the United States have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Because there are no border controls between U.S. states and citizens are allowed to travel freely between them, this has resulted in the proliferation of cannabis dispensaries located in towns that border states where cannabis remains illegal. These dispensaries can often be a significant source of revenue for the local economy of a city; for example, the city of Ontario, Oregon generated $100 million in cannabis sales less than two years after allowing dispensaries.[1]

This article lists cities and towns throughout the United States located at or near a state line that have at least one cannabis dispensary.

Border towns with cannabis dispensaries in the United States[edit]

Antonito, Colorado[edit]

Located just north of the New Mexico border, Antonito's authorization of retail marijuana shops resulted in a $295,000 annual increase in the city budget. The money has been used to pay for critical services and purchase the 106-year-old Warshauer Mansion for use as a future City Hall.[2]

Danville, Illinois[edit]

Located in eastern Illinois on the Indiana state line, Danville's first cannabis dispensary opened in May 2020.[3]

Dinosaur, Colorado[edit]

A town of less than 400 people, Dinosaur voted 102-50 to allow marijuana dispensaries in 2016 and serves residents of Utah.[4]

Iron Mountain, Michigan[edit]

Located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along the Wisconsin border, Iron Mountain's first recreational dispensary opened in October 2020.[5]

Morenci, Michigan[edit]

Located along the Ohio border, the city of Morenci's dispensaries serve both recreational customers and Ohio medical cannabis patients who exhaust their legal supply in Ohio before purchasing more in Michigan.[6]

Ontario, Oregon[edit]

Ontario, Oregon repealed its ban on cannabis dispensaries in the November 2018 general election. Dispensaries opened in the town the following year and immediately saw a large influx of Idaho residents. Tax revenue from the dispensaries has enabled Ontario to expand its city budget and cease cutting funds for general services in the city.[7] However it, along with other dispensaries in Eastern Oregon, is one of the driving forces behind the creation of Greater Idaho due to the effect people there and in Idaho say it is having on their way of life and values.

Quincy, Illinois[edit]

Located on the western Illinois state line directly across the border from Missouri, Quincy's dispensaries have been in operation since January 2020.[8]

Salisbury, Massachusetts[edit]

A resort town on the New Hampshire border. Police in nearby Seabrook, New Hampshire regularly confiscate cannabis purchased in Salisbury by residents.[9]

Sedgwick, Colorado[edit]

Located in northeastern Colorado near the Nebraska border, Sedgwick's cannabis dispensaries were a major benefit to the small town's economy. However, the town has also drawn the ire of Nebraska law enforcement officials, who believe it is to blame for the large spike in marijuana possession arrests in Nebraska-Colorado border towns since legalization.[10]

South Beloit, Illinois[edit]

Located across the border from Beloit, Wisconsin, South Beloit's first cannabis dispensary opened in 2020 following the legalization of cannabis in Illinois and has generated significant tax revenue for the city.[11]

Trinidad, Colorado[edit]

One of the first cannabis border towns, Trinidad's economy was revitalized by the legalization of marijuana due to its close proximity to both New Mexico and Texas.[12]

Uxbridge, Massachusetts[edit]

Located on the border with Rhode Island, Uxbridge has several marijuana dispensaries. As of September 2019, the city is considering establishing marijuana smoking clubs in the city.[13]

West Wendover, Nevada[edit]

Located across the border from Wendover, Utah, West Wendover's first dispensary opened in December 2019 and serves Utah residents in the western half of the state.[14]

Previously used border town dispensaries[edit]

From July 2014 to October 2015, recreational cannabis sales were legal in Washington but illegal in Oregon; accordingly, Washington-based dispensaries located along the Oregon-Washington border made considerable revenue from Oregon residents during this time. However, after Oregon began recreational cannabis sales in October 2015, revenue at state line dispensaries plummeted as Oregon residents switched to dispensaries in their own state.[15]

Huntington, Oregon was the primary city used by Idaho residents to purchase cannabis until 2019, when the city of Ontario (which is located closer to the Idaho border) opened its own dispensaries; cannabis sales subsequently declined significantly in Huntington.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lynsey Amundson (23 December 2020). "Marijuana sales top $100 million in Ontario, Oregon – fueled in part by Idaho customers". Idaho News 6. Archived from the original on 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  2. ^ Migoya, David (2 January 2019). "Once a pass-through town, legal marijuana put Antonito on the map". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2020-11-08. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  3. ^ "Cannabis dispensary opens in Danville". WAND TV Central Illinois (press release). 23 May 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-03-20. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  4. ^ Lofholm, Nancy (25 February 2019). "Trouble in Dinosaur: Cop fired, town hall searched as border town reckons with new pot money, old problems". The Colorado Sun. Archived from the original on 2021-01-28. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  5. ^ Erwin, Alyssa (22 October 2020). "Rize U.P., Iron Mountain's first marijuana retailer open". WLUC. Archived from the original on 2020-11-01. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  6. ^ Beggin, Riley (20 January 2020). "Along Michigan-Ohio border, small-town Morenci is transformed by marijuana". Bridge Magazine. Archived from the original on 2021-01-10. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  7. ^ Parsons, Gretchen; Terhune, Katie (10 November 2019). "'This is the marijuana capital of Idaho': Pot sales bring cash infusion to Ontario". KTVB 7. Archived from the original on 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  8. ^ Reid, Don (7 July 2021). "Second recreational marijuana dispensary opens in Quincy". The Daily Reporter. Archived from the original on 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  9. ^ Chiaramida, Angeljean (12 September 2019). "New Hampshire pot smokers beware". Foster's Daily Democrat. Archived from the original on 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  10. ^ Steiner, Matt (25 April 2019). "Sedgwick, a struggling town on the Colorado prairie, found salvation in legalized pot". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  11. ^ Bruckman, Ari (10 December 2020). "Marijuana sales may be illegal in Wisconsin, but dispensary on Illinois border is making a killing". Archived from the original on 2021-01-15. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  12. ^ Roeder, Tom (24 February 2018). "Marijuana fuels Trinidad's revival - and a rise in black market arrests in neighboring states". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  13. ^ Spencer, Susan (14 September 2019). "Mass/RI border town embraces booming cannabis business, plans for marijuana cafes". South Coast Today. New Bedford, MA. Archived from the original on 2019-09-18. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  14. ^ Locklear, Michael (30 December 2019). "Utahns buying pot from new West Wendover shop will probably break the law". CBS 2 KUTV. Archived from the original on 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  15. ^ Noelle Crombie (8 April 2016). "Washington marijuana sales see 'border effect' from Oregon's new recreational market". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2020-09-16. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  16. ^ Tony Lange (9 February 2021). "The Border-Town Effect: Dispensaries Boom on State Line". Cannabis Business Times. Archived from the original on 2021-02-19. Retrieved 2023-01-06.