With the legalization of pot in California this month comes a cascade of creativity as cannabis startups take off and new ideas flow as profusely as ganja-generated revenues.

High There! is one such animal. Describing itself as “a social network that promotes uniting cannabis users and enthusiasts with each other in a friendly and judgment-free environment,” the folks at High There!, based in Florida, are off to a great start as pot goes legal in the Golden State. Here’s what they did:

“To better understand California’s cannabis consumers, we’ve parsed our user data out by city,” says the group’s co-founder Darren Roberts, sending along geographical data that shows pot-users’ preferences in different parts of California. “This data is collected when users sign up for HighThere, and the cities here are the twelve California cities with the most participating users.”

Roberts explains that “when users sign up, they’re asked to list their favorite activities and can choose as many as they like. Because of that, clear patterns emerge across all cities for activity preferences. Everyone loves food, music, and screen time when they’re stoned, for example. Even when users are asked to select a specific preference, as in dabbing over smoking, overall patterns emerge. To tease out a bit more of what makes the cities different from one another, we looked at this data from the perspective of which city each activity, social goal, or ingestion method is most popular in.”

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Dabbing, for those not in the know, is a method of inhaling a concentrated dose of cannabis that have been heated on a hot surface, usually a nail, and then inhaled through what’s called a dab rig.

In any case, on with the show:

“Because our business is bringing people who love pot together, it’s important for us to get to know our users,” writes Roberts. “When people sign up for HighThere, they share their activity preferences, social goals, and favorite ways to consume cannabis so that we can match them with other users who have common interests.

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“California’s historic legalization bill just took effect, so we—along with everyone else!—are very curious about what moves the cannabis lovers of the Golden State. What kind of social connections they’re looking to make, what they want to do with their new friends, how they want to consume cannabis together, and so on.”

To find out, he says, High There! “aggregated and anonymized profile information from 1000 California users, breaking down the data by age, gender, and region. Here are the major takeaways:”

  • Clear preferences for ingestion methods haven’t truly emerged in California. While smoking ranks highest among our California users who did express a specific preference, the overwhelming majority of them said they were up for everything;
  • Vaping, using an electronic cigarette or similar device, was most popular in the Los Angeles County area, while smoking was most popular in the Sacramento area;
  • Specific preference for edibles was also highest around Sacramento’
  • Vaping was also the most popular among both men and women over 44, which makes sense, given its reputation for being a healthier choice;

Because so much of “cannabis culture is about sharing and socializing with cannabis,” says Roberts, “we were especially interested to see what kind of interactions our users were seeking on our service.”

  • “Chat” was the most commonly selected category, with “Stay In” about 10 percentage points behind;
  • Stay In (22.2% overall) was more popular overall than Go Out (16.5%), “suggesting that cannabis users are still more comfortable consuming out of public view;”
  • “Food” and “Music” were the top two most popular activities overall; “After that, Californians like to get out and enjoy their state’s exceptional outdoor opportunities. And if they’re not having a bonfire on the beach, they’re catching a movie;

Here are High There!’s Top California Ingestion Preferences by Region

  • Edibles and Smoking: Sacramento
  • Vaping and Dabbing: Los Angeles
  • No preference: Orange County

Top Activities by Location

(with percentage of respondents favoring each)

Activity: City
Outdoor: Irvine (77.3%)
Music: Bakersfield (87.2%)
TV/Movies: San Francisco (75.2%)
Fitness: Irvine (4.6%)
Gaming: Anaheim (54.7%)
Food: Sacramento (80.3%)
Sports: Fresno (13.9%)
Travel: Fresno (16.6%)
Volunteer: Irvine (0.7%)

Ingestion Method: City
All/No Preference: Riverside (58.69%)
Dabbing: San Jose (0.8%)
Edibles: Sacramento (2.4%)
Smoking: Long Beach (41.8%)
Vaporizing: San Francisco (8.85%)

Social Goal: City

(examples of what various pot users enjoy doing while high)

Chat: Bakersfield (42.26%)
Down for Everything: Long Beach (4.43%)
Friendship: Fresno (3.11%)
Go Out: San Francisco (22.08%)
Relationship: Long Beach (3.61%)
See What Happens: Riverside (11.27%)
Smoking Buds: Fresno (9.33%)
Stay In: San Francisco (28.8%)
Strictly Platonic: Bakersfield (1%)

Finally, here are some additional thoughts about the survey that Roberts wanted to share with us:

“TV/Movies, for example, was more popular than Outdoors among Angelenos by a percentage point, which makes a whole lot of sense. While there are plenty of breathtakingly beautiful places to be outdoors within driving distance of LA, it’s also the cinema capitol of the world. In other cases, some of the city preferences are obvious. San Francisco being the most popular city for vaping seems very natural, given the tech community’s early adoption of e-cigs. If they’re doing it for tobacco, they probably take their cannabis the same way.

“Irvine’s proximity to great hikes and great beaches explains their preference for outdoor activity. In terms of demographics, the majority of respondents here are men. However, Bakersfield and Fresno had the highest rate of female participation, with 25.2% and 26.7% women, respectively. In terms of age, the overwhelming majority of respondents are Millennials, although all ages are represented.”

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