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Report: California Consumers Spend the Most Per-Item on Legal Cannabis in the U.S.

Californians Are Spending the Most on Legal Cannabis
Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

Economics

Report: California Consumers Spend the Most Per-Item on Legal Cannabis in the U.S.

A new report shows Californians will have to dish out the most cash if they want to enjoy legal cannabis, while Washington residents are paying half the price.

A report, published this week by longtime cannabis data company Headset, delved into the price of cannabis in its various forms in legal markets across the United States, and revealed some interesting data.  

Over the years, Headset has tracked over $4.5 billion in sales across the country and the data acquired from those transactions for the backbone of what the report is breaking down. The data sets from key cannabis marketplaces around the country were analyzed along variables such as the price of the flower by the gram and milligrams of THC in edibles, as well as more “traditional” economic variables that weren’t so pot-specific.

Here are four key findings from the Headset report.

1) California Has the Highest Average Item Price for Cannabis Products

The biggest and most general data point Headset used to quantify the current state markets was the average item price. This figure includes everything — flower, edible, vapable concentrate — if it’s sold by a dispensary and has weed in it. The highest average item price was in California at $30.90. That price is more than double what consumers in Washington are seeing. On average, they are paying only $15.33 per item.

Colorado and Nevada fell in the middle, with consumers paying $23.95 in the Rockies and $26.94 in the desert.

Headset noted that the more established markets, which have had more time to develop, obviously have lower prices.

“This makes sense, as prices tend to fall when production ramps up to meet demand,” the report read. “The first day of legal cannabis sales in Washington state saw grams of cannabis being sold for as much as $30, which is unheard of now.”

According to the data, prices have actually gone up in California by $5 since the legal market opened up in January 2018. However, the Headset report doesn’t believe that price trend will last.

2) Cannabis Vape Pens Compose Half the Nevada Market

The vapor pen market was also wild to look at. There, Nevada takes the mantle of most expensive products. Despite vapor pens making up half the cannabis market in Nevada, the scale of consumer purchases doesn’t seem to be driving prices down. According to Headset, you can see the price of oil directly correspond to the size of the cartridges people are buying.

In Nevada, one gram vapor cartridges accounted for less than 10 percent of the vape pen products being sold. But In Washington and California where oil is cheaper, “One gram sizes are actually quite popular, with 37 percent and 29 percent of sales going to those package sizes, respectively,” the report stated. Headset believes those numbers correspond with money-conscious millennialstrying to save a buck, and since they’re the backbone of the pot market, their buying power goes a long way.

3) Colorado Has the Cheapest Cannabis Flower

The price of flowers by the gram varied drastically across state markets. While many would likely presume Washington to win the cheapest flower award, Colorado actually beat them out by 30 cents. It was close. A gram of flowers costs you $4.60 in Colorado and would run $4.90 in Washington. That price again rises sharply once you get to California and Nevada. Californians are paying $11.60 per gram on average, while folks in Nevada are dishing out a whopping $13.70. It would be fascinating to see how much of a factor price-gouging Las Vegas tourists play into that number.

4) California Consumers Are Making More Bulk Purchases

Another fascinating insight found by Headset’s new report is that Californians are committing increasingly to buying whole eighths as legalization moves forward. At the beginning of 2018 when the legal market opened up, grams made up roughly 40 percent of all flower purchases. By December of 2018, the market had embraced bulk. Gram sales were cut nearly in half, and eighths now make up the bulk of flower being sold in the California market, while ounces have doubled in popularity.

Headset points to discount ounces pushing this trend. “Value priced ounces are especially popular with post-millennials, a demographic that’s only just begun aging into the market,” the report said, “Given how comfortable with cannabis their elder siblings, the millennials, are, post-millennials are expected to be a large and dedicated group of customers.”

TELL US, how expensive is legal cannabis where you live?

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ron G.

    March 8, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Five dollars a gram? Weed’s been selling for as little as five bucks an eighth in Oregon–it’s like 1979 called and they want their nickel bag back.

    I realize this is a story about averages, but it has left me curious about where Oregon sits. I guess I’ll have to go to the primary source.

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