In a Legal Weed Future, Grams May Cost Less Than a Can of Beer
Colorado recreational weed now 30 percent cheaper, still dank AF.
Colorado weed isn’t as expensive as it once was. And the wholesale price of cannabis, which has declined in recreational markets in the Rocky Mountain State, could go lower still.
According to John Manlove, director of client engagement for Tradiv––an online cannabis wholesale platform that aims to connect the dots (cultivators, retailers, processors) of the legal weed supply chain––the drop began shortly after the California-based startup launched its platform in Colorado, in late 2015:
“At that time, recreational wholesale flower prices were around $2,600 to $2,800 per-pound, for premium-quality, indoor-grown cannabis flower,” Manlove tells KINDLAND in an email. “Over the course of the year following launch, we saw a steady decline in prices to where they currently average around $1,600-per-pound, for the same quality of product in the recreational market.”
Manlove identifies two key factors in the dramatic decrease in price for wholesale recreational Colorado weed:
“Colorado forced vertical integration for [the medical market,]” writes Manlove. A move he says provided the organizational infrastructure for any medicinal weed firms making the move to the rec market. But mostly, recreational bud costs less at the retail level, according to Manlove, because it is in such high supply:
“The state allowed for wholesale recreational growers (without a dispensary) to enter the market without canopy limits,” he says. “. . . which created an influx of wholesale product.”
Meanwhile, on the medical side, at least in Colorado, fluctuations in the wholesale price of products are less disruptive, Manlove says, because most medicinal cultivators also own dispensaries.
But it's more than just new players entering the recreational grow-game that have the potential to drive down prices. According to Cy Scott, co-founder of Leafly and cannabis intelligence firm Headset, retailers in Washington state are selling flower by-the-ounce at a reduced rate.
"Pricing continues to drop, particularly around outdoor harvest dates," Scott previously told KINDLAND. "This lowering of prices across the board is great for consumers and continues to validate that the experiment is working as it's critical to be competitive with the black market."
Should cannabis be legalized on a national scale, the price-per-gram at the retail level could be cheaper than a pack of cigarettes, or a single can of beer, according to some speculators.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports, "Drug policy research experts at RAND have estimated that up to 90 percent of the price of black market pot is [sic] risk premium. That means a gram of marijuana, which once cost as much as $20, could fall to $2. . ."
Of course, the spending habits of the modern cannabis consumer are also not set-in-stone. As new products hit the market, what people actually buy will change. Where a gram of high-end flower might at some point retail for $2, some concentrates are already selling for more than $100-per-gram.
No matter the cost, the weed world spins on—but in the future it might spin on without spin-drying your wallet.