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The best cities to live for marijuana lovers

Kristin Brinckerhoff ponders the selection of marijuana at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, Jan. 2, 2014.

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There's good news and bad for people looking to move to a city that allows medical or recreational use of marijuana. The good: There's no need to give up hope for safe neighborhoods or quality school districts. But living there may not be cheap, either.

(Read more: Medical marijuana refugees face financial hurdles) pulled data on cities in states with laws permitting medical or recreational marijuana use. "We looked for metros that have a combination of a solid economy, plenty of things to do, and a healthy population," said founder Bert Sperling.

Using that data, CNBC then looked for good schools and affordability relative to average incomes in the area. Cities such as Washington, D.C., and Chicago were eliminated because they have made access tough despite having medical marijuana laws.

SOURCES: for city picks; for average listing prices (in the week ending Jan. 22) and median sales prices (October 2013 through January 2014); Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness for cost of living index data (from Q3 2013).

—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant. Follow her on Twitter @Kelligrant and on Google.
Posted 5 Feb. 2014

Craig F. Walker | The Denver Post | Getty Images