An Analysis of the Price of Marijuana in the USA

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November 4, 1971, “Marijuana at Penn State now sells for up to $25 an ounce, according to the university newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian.” $25 for an ounce of marijuana used to be looked at as a hefty price. Now a day, customers would lose their minds if they saw an ounce of flower for $25! Over the years there has been an increased demand, which calls for the high price of marijuana.

Before the legalization of marijuana, most of the pricing people knew was dependent on their location. For instance, if you lived in the country where there tends to be more home grows, the pricing was considerably lower. In the city, the price of marijuana was much higher due to the high demand and little supply. It wasn’t until the legalization of marijuana did we begin to see a decrease in the price of cannabis. However, there are many states that are still adapting to the black market way of pricing.

 

Old School Way of Pricing Cannabis

The cannabis industry is very unique. The mere fact that it is an industry based on a formerly illegal product makes it unlike anything else. Even though cannabis was formerly illegal in most states, there were still a lot of consumers. This meant the black market was a thriving marketplace before the legalization of cannabis. It was also a big factor in the push for the legalization of cannabis. While legalization was an attempt to push out the “gray area” involved with the black market, the cannabis industry adopted a majority of the black market’s pricing strategy.

The typical price of an eighth on the black market was about $45. This was a normal price for consumers in more rural areas. The consumers that lived in the city were most likely charged about $60 an eighth, and that is on the cheap side. These prices were based on the amount of supply in each region. That is why a consumer living in the center of Illinois is going to see lower prices than a consumer living in New York City.

The main concept that the legal market has adopted from the black market is the idea to make price cuts to the ppg (price per gram). The ppg would decrease as the consumer purchased more weight. For instance, if a consumer wants only to buy a gram then they would be charged $10-$15. If they were to purchase an eighth for $40, they would be charged $11.42 per gram. The point is that the more weight you buy, the lower the price per gram is.

Flower

Flower is the most well known and popular way of consuming cannabis. This is why the industry did not want to change the way most consumers purchased cannabis. The industry kept the same way of weighing and calculating the price of marijuana. However, the price of flower still varies per region. As the legalization of cannabis spreads, we even see the prices vary drastically per state. The average price for an ounce of medium quality cannabis in Colorado is about $200, while an ounce in Oregon is about $185. These are both state that legalization has occurred. The average price for an ounce of the same quality in Illinois is about $300, and an ounce in North Dakota is about $330. Both of these states have not yet legalized marijuana. As you can see, the cost from a legalized state to an illegal state is extremely different. The legalization of cannabis drastically decreases the cost of cannabis to its consumers.

However, even in states that are legalized, consumers still see a price variance dependent upon where they live. Let’s use Colorado as an example.

Average Price of Marijuana Per Region:

Fort Collins – $45 a 1/8

Denver – $30 a 1/8

Boulder – $40 a 1/8

Colorado Springs – $50 a 1/8

As you can see, these prices are all over the place. The pattern that I have come to notice is that the price per gram tends to be less where there are more dispensaries. This is not shocking because it is common to see more completive pricing in locations with a lot of competition. In Denver, you usually see a dispensary on every street corner. That is why it is not uncommon to even find an eighth of cannabis for as low as $15 or $20.

Concentrates

Purple Urkle WaxThe legalization of cannabis has brought a variety of new cannabis products into the industry. Concentrates are a very popular product. Not only is it a more potent product, but it is also a much more expensive product. Flower was able to adopt the black market way of pricing, but concentrates are another ball game. Due to the high potency of concentrates, there has been an equivalency made to regulate this product; meaning a gram of concentrates is equivalent to a 1/8 of flower.

The pricing of concentrates is interesting because there are multiple different types of concentrates. There is wax, shatter, live resin, and even distillate. The pricing of each is different due to the quality of the extraction. Also, like the pricing of flower concentrates prices also vary per region.

Average Price of Marijuana Concentrates:

Wax – $15 -$35 a Gram

Shatter – $25 – $50 a Gram

Live Resin – $35 – $60

Edibles

Edibles are very similar to concentrates. Both of the products pricing is different because of the equivalencies set on them. For an edible, the amount of THC in each product is measured in milligrams. 100 milligrams is equivalent to a 1/8 of flower. The pricing of edibles varies dependent on the type of edible. Is it a chocolate bar, gummy, hard candy, cookie, or even a specialty dessert?. The price of an edible is usually dependent upon the quality of ingredients used in that product.

Average Price of Marijuana Edibles:

Chocolate Bar – $22 for 100mg

Gummies – $20 for 100mg

Hard Candy – $15 for 100mg

Cookies – $20 for 100mg

 

Other Factors for the Price of Marijuana

There is one thing that a lot of consumers forget about when purchasing cannabis; sales tax! The taxes put on cannabis drastically affect the total cost for the consumer. While paying taxes are totally worth having the legalization of marijuana, it does make pricing a little difficult. The tax rate for cannabis is specific to each town. It is important for the consumer to understand the different tax rates. This will help ensure that they will not underestimate the cost of their order.

The pricing of cannabis can sometimes be expensive and a bit confusing. This is why there are some newly developed resources for cannabis consumers. If you are looking for the top dispensaries, product, or cannabis education Leafbuyer provides it all. The cannabis industry is still so new that it is important for the consumer to be educated about the product. Understanding how these products are priced will allow the consumers to get the best product for the best price.


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Justice Council
Justice Council is a freelance writer, CBD specialist, and cannabis enthusiast located in Denver, Colorado. His wide range of experience as a budtender, delivery driver, and CBD sales rep has given him a unique look into this new world of cannabis. Throughout his career in the industry, Justice has written many pieces on culture, economics, product knowledge, and career opportunities within the cannabis space. He takes pride in being part of a truly pioneering industry.