Legal Weed is Cheaper Weed

A scale holds stacks of 100 dollar bills on one side and buds on the other are even in states where MMJ is legal. MMJ states are set to rake in massive revenue from the cannabis industry.

There are high taxes associated with the production and purchase of pot, but that still hasn’t stopped prices from sliding under legalization. In California, the boutique growers can probably maintain a foothold — at least for a while — but the bottom is dropping our for the mids market thanks to over-saturation.


It’s not exactly breaking news that decriminalization reduces prices for cannabis; without the artificial scarcity and monopoly-like control of criminal elements, prices tend to drop substantially. But with legalization, which entails the establishment of regulations and taxes, there is of course the possibility of higher prices.

There are still those who point to this possibility, like critics of Prop 64 who held it out as a potential in the days leading up the election.

From the LA Weekly:

Fifteen percent taxes on recreational marijuana under the measure will boost the price of weed compared with that guy who sells it out of his apartment. Sales tax in some parts of LA County is already 10 cents on the dollar. So you’re looking at a steep price increase for your organic produce if you were to buy it legally for recreational use. Now a study says that even the base wholesale price of weed is likely to go up, at least temporarily, if voters legalize it.

That prediction hasn’t exactly panned out, at least not yet.

In Washington, legalization precipitated a 65 percent drop in the per-gram price of cannabis.

From the Washington Post:

The current retail price of $7.38 per gram (including tax) represents a 67 percent decrease in just three years of the legalization, with more decline likely in the future.

And when you talk to those who’ve been participating in California’s cannabis industry for years, they’ll tell you prices have been steadily declining since the initial move to decriminalize back in 1996.

Among them, Neil Dellacava, a cultivator and owner of boutique cannabis brand Gold Seal SF and a purchaser at Harvest medical cannabis dispensary, who told Cannabis Now that the market has seen a major decline in prices since the earliest days of Prop 215.

“When it first started there weren’t a lot of people growing; you could sell for like $4,000 even $5,000 a pound… pretty much OG Kush went for $4,000 and any other passable indoor went for $3,000,” he said — but now? “People might get $2,200 or $$2,800 for indoor – some people still pay like $3,200 for quality.”

And the prices on the illicit market? He says they’re not actually that much cheaper – $1,600 to $2,000 per pound for indoor, and those prices will also continue to fall as more growers flood the market with mid-grade bud.

But Dellacava believes while the market for mid-grade weed is seeing massive over-saturation — and by extension a steep drop in prices — the demand for boutique-quality cannabis will hold prices up for an elite segment of the market.

“There’s going to be a lot of people growing; yes the price is going to go down, but it’s going to go down for mediocre weed — the market will be flooded” he said. “As far as the top shelf market, for California especially, personally I feel people care about quality and, at least for a couple of years, growers who bring quality will be able to hold their numbers.”

TELL US, do you live in a decriminalized state? Have you noticed a decrease in prices?

Greg Zeman is the Associate Editor of Cannabis Now Magazine. His previous editorial credits include Staff Writer at a national political news site (Politix), Editor-In-Chief of a bilingual San Francisco newspaper (El Tecolote) and Founding Editor of an investigative journalism non-profit (Bay News Movement). His writing has been featured in SF Weekly, SF Evergreen, 3200 Stories, Offbeat and elsewhere. He wakes up at 4:19 but doesn't leave the house until eleven past seven.

3 Comments

  1. Tim

    September 11, 2017 at 8:02 am

    It’s cheaper here to purchase marijuana on the street compared to dispensary prices. Though obviously untested etc.

    • matt spence

      September 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      true usually i could get it cheaper on the street then i can from a dispensary or a licensed producer and unless they have special sales on but even then its not any cheaper its still about the same price i think top shelf marijuana should be no more then 6$ a gram and cheaper on quantity in my opinion that is the only way you will eliminate the illegal market also dont make people be forced to buy from a licensed producer because all of the licensed producers sell the same over priced pesticide infested garbage and are just trying to push out the dispensaries and other people who are not controlled by the government out so they can force us to buy their crap cause we wont have another choice

      • matt spence

        September 13, 2017 at 5:14 pm

        cause atm i can get it on the street or in a dispensary for usually 6$ a gram or as cheap as 3 and 4 dollars a gram sometimes like once or twice a month those special sales are on but at a licensed producer you are paying anywhere from 8-13$ a gram for the same stuff usually worse quality and you gotta wait for at least a 2-4 business days to get it and cant see it until it gets to you so most times it ends up being poor quality or not near as good as they say it is so many people getting ripped off its rediculous they should just make it legalized and decriminalized for everyone to sell and make money off of not just the government but it will probably just all end up controlled by them anyways just like alcohol and smokes ts such BS

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