Santa Cruz County residents are spending more on cannabis per person than residents of any other county in the greater Bay Area, data from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration shows.

Retailers sold $51.68 of cannabis per person in Santa Cruz County in the first quarter of this year, while per capita sales in San Francisco were $50.40 in the same period.

In contrast, sales in San Mateo County were just over $6 per person.

“These numbers fluctuate quite a bit but we always show a bit higher (no pun intended) due to tourism,” Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin said. “Despite the pandemic restrictions, we continued to see large numbers of visitors coming for our open spaces.”

“Despite being one of the smallest counties, we have more state parks than any other county, and we definitely saw people taking advantage of the safety of the outdoors as a means of escape,” Hoppin said. Perhaps they were partaking of other means of escape as well? Who is to say.”

On average a Bay Area resident bought $30.63 of cannabis in the first quarter of 2021 and statewide that number was about $34.50.

The Bay Area average is based on data for Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma counties.

The statewide average is based on data for 32 counties, including the Bay Area counties listed above.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.