With more states legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, cannabis connoisseurs may be curious as to how much flower costs in different states. Before marijuana was legalized, it was easy for buyers to be duped into paying too much for their weed. With dealers making their own prices based on what product they had, there was often no consistency. Legalization has provided an opportunity for baseline pricing on marijuana, but how much does that change from state to state?
Focusing solely on dry herb, there are several different weight measurements that differentiate the amount being purchased. Marijuana is sold per gram, traditionally referenced to as a "dime bag". Going up from there, an eighth of weed weighs about 3.5 grams. An eighth of weed is typically known as the standard amount purchased by regular smokers. Eighths have been known to be cheaper than buying by the gram, and offer a better deal for the weight. Going up from there, weed moves up to a quarter (7 grams), a half (14 grams) and an ounce (28 grams). Though larger amounts mean cheaper pricing overall per gram, most casual smokers choose to buy on the smaller side. More weed could potentially mean drying out faster than desired, but this is easily avoided when buying smaller amounts.
Now that weed is legal in numerous states, there’s an opportunity for a variety of price variation. Some states have far more dispensaries than others, which can cause a flooded market and price reduction. However, by comparing marijuana prices we can see how much price fluctuation there truly is between states. By looking at a standard amount of an eighth of weed, we can see if there is a large difference in pricing throughout different states and dispensaries.
Legal Recreational States
Alaska legalized medical marijuana in 1998, and recreational laws were passed in 2014. After viewing several dispensary menus online, an eighth of weed in Alaska costs between $50-$60. This is pricier than other states, but could be attributed to lower demand. Alaska is one of the least populous states in the U.S., which means less dispensaries and higher prices. Alaska is also an extremely dispersed state, and those seeking weed may have to travel to the few urban areas in order to find a dispensary.
California was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana, back in 1996. They have since followed up and approved recreational use in November 2016. In contrast to Alaska, California is the most populous state in the U.S. With thousands of dispensaries throughout the state, there is more room for price variation. Lower grade marijuana is around $20-$25 per eighth, but prices continue to rise as quality of the herb gets better. Top shelf weed is around $40-$50 an eighth. Even though the cheaper marijuana isn’t considered top quality, it offers a cheaper yet still effective option for buyers.
One of the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana, Colorado, has been a leading force in the cannabis industry. With numerous options for buying marijuana, Colorado may have some of the cheapest weed in the country. Similar to California, Colorado dispensaries often have tier pricing for various strains and quality of bud. Many dispensaries will offer $20 eighths, but prices can go as high as $50 an eighth. Higher prices often reflect the strain, THC content, and availability.
Maine was another state that approved recreational marijuana in 2016. Unfortunately, much of the law has not been fully implemented, and has delayed the opening of recreational dispensaries. No fear for those waiting, many shops are set to open in 2019. In the meantime, medical patients have the option to head to medical dispensaries. When looking at these shops, an eighth is around $25. Once recreational shops begin to open, Maine residents are going to have more price and location options.
Massachusetts is yet another state that passed legal marijuana in 2016. Similar to Maine, they are on the cusp of opening dispensaries after waiting for final licenses to be approved. Medical dispensaries are still up and running, and most eighths are $40-$50. Though this is on the pricier side, the opening of recreational dispensaries offers potentially lower prices once demand starts.
Sales for recreational marijuana began in 2017 throughout Nevada. While the industry is new, most dispensaries have similar pricing for eighths. Prices range from $40-$60 depending on the quality of the weed. Most dispensaries appear to carry top shelf bud, so most prices average in around $55 per eighth. Though Nevada's prices are higher than Colorado or California, weekly deals at Nevada dispensaries are a great option for finding cheaper prices.
Oregon was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use when it was approved in 2014. With a plethora of shops available for recreational buyers, good prices are easy to come by. Most quality herb is priced between $30-$40 per eighth, and most dispensaries have around the same prices. While not quite the cheapest weed, Oregon's experience in the industry shows they will always offer quality herb.
Vermont is another new state in the recreational industry. Legalized in 2018, the state is currently working towards creating clear laws for dispensaries. As another state in limbo, Vermont still has medical shops open for those in need of marijuana. Medical prices for an eighth of weed are around $50. With the legislation being so new, Vermont has the potential for better prices once more shops begin to open.
Washington is another state that has been an OG in the cannabis industry, having legalized recreational use in 2012. Hundreds of shops have opened in those last 6 years, which offers a wide range of options for buyers. Washington also has a wide range of prices, so each buyer can choose weed within their price point. The cost of lower shelf weed in Washington is $20 per eighth, while top shelf weed is closer to $50 per eighth. Again, depending on the type of weed a buyer desires, Washington has prices that fit every need.
Keep Taxes in Mind
One thing often left out of budgeting for marijuana is added taxes to the purchase. While taxes vary greatly by state, it can make the final cost a lot higher than expected. Taxes can depend on local laws too, as some cities will have higher tax rates than others. Recreational marijuana is also often taxed at higher rates, which can be a factor in choosing to pursue a medical card.
When choosing a dispensary, make sure to do a little research before. Many dispensaries offer deals during the week, or have bundle offers for weed they need to move through the shop. Check city tax rates as well, oftentimes larger cities will have cheaper weed prices.
Though this list is not comprehensive of all medical states, buyers should have a better idea for weed pricing throughout the country. Despite a lot of price variation, it is clear recreational weed has made the market somewhat stable. As noted, there are several states with legal recreational marijuana, but dispensaries have yet to open for business. For those in limbo waiting on legal weed, only time will tell how pricing and taxes will be adjusted as shops begin to open.