Cannabis enthusiasts of all varieties like to argue over one thing: which state has the best quality cheap weed? While most smokers rep their home state's offerings, some enthusiasts are able to look past their personal biases and cast a vote for a different state. Of course, determining the source of the best quality cheap weed often works better when you separate "quality" from "cheap". On the basis of cheapness alone, most of the East Coast and Midwest are pretty much out.
The Best Prices for Cheap Weed
The West wins this hands down. On a 50 state breakdown of marijuana prices published in January 2018, almost every state on the East Coast had prices of $269 to $336 per ounce. Only Maine had reasonable prices, in the $233 to $245 range.
Prices improve as we move south on the map, with the majority of the Southern states around the $233 to $267 range for an ounce. Even though Virginia has some of the highest prices, its next door neighbor Kentucky has some of best quality cheap weed in the region. Those in the non-legalized markets of the Southern United States often swear by Kentucky cannabis.
The Midwest is a bit of a dead zone for cannabis, and the prices and quality of marijuana found there reflect this. The cheapest weed in legal markets lines the shelves of Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, and New Mexico dispensaries. The cheapest of all states is Oregon, where earlier this year an ounce of high-quality weed could be snagged for $210.64.
The Best Quality for Cheap Weed
So now that we've determined the best quality cheap weed is on the West Coast, how do we rank the states individually? There are multiple factors that could influence an individual's opinion of which cheap weed state has the best quality product. While Washington and Colorado's cannabis quality is superb, their prices are not on par with Oregon's insane sale prices. So really, this is a contest between Cali and Oregon grown cannabis.
The Ocean Grown Advantage
You've probably met at least one smoker who swears by an OG strain. The term stands for "ocean grown", in reference to geography. Most people accept the story where a grower was smoking a great bowl and his friend claimed the stuff was so good due to being mountain grown. The grower knew better and corrected the guy who offered, saying it was great because it was ocean grown – in California.
From a hip-hop point of view, OG means "original gangster". It's very possible the popularity of OG strains among rappers in the early 1990's led to a conflation of the two terms. Some growers today use OG in reference to "original genetics", as a way to differentiate the original variations of a strain from other versions.
If you subscribe to the ocean grown theory, California's beautiful outdoor climate makes for fantastic outdoor grows and some of the best quality cheap weed out there.
Questions of Quality
One aspect of quality to consider is how your weed was grown. The best quality cheap weed has been tested to ensure there are no residual pesticides or other harmful agents in it. States like Washington and Colorado, who legalized cannabis first, have long had regulations in place that require cannabis is tested for these harmful agents, as well as for CBD and THC content. The best growers even have their bud tested for terpene profiles, to give savvy customers a better glimpse of the product's effects.
While there's no disputing the overall potency of cannabis available in California, there has been some question as to its lab performance. When cannabis became legal in 2018, growers had to begin testing their product in labs. However, the product on the shelves when stores opened was not subject to the rule and had to be labelled "untested". Stores had a six month "grace period" to sell all their untested product, after which they would have to destroy it.
The problem is, nearly 20 percent of California's cannabis is still failing the state's mandatory testing over halfway through the year. The majority of failures were due to misrepresentation of THC or CBD content or packaging errors rather than for contamination. However, this lack of precision still docks California some points in the competition for best quality cheap weed.
The Genetic Influence
There's definitely something to be said for the cannabis legends that inhabit a state. California's got plenty of famous cannabis enthusiasts on its rosters, but Oregon is a contender too. Not only did legendary breeder Subcool and TGA Genetics get started in Oregon, but the state is home to famed dab guru Ganja Jon. Probably the most famous Oregon resident and cannabis icon is Jack Herer, sometimes dubbed the Emperor of Hemp and known for the marijuana strain named after him.
If we were going to list contributors to the genetic pools of weed in Oregon and California, Cali would probably win. But taking into account the other critical factors of price and lab-tested potency, Oregon's tight regulations and rock-bottom prices make it the destination for the best quality cheap weed.