March 20, 2016

Which State Has The Most Expensive Medical Marijuana?

March 20, 2016
marijuana cash industry banking
marijuana cash industry banking
(image via Associated Press)

There are many states in America that have legalized medical marijuana in some form. On one of the spectrum you have states like Oregon where home cultivation is allowed (albeit with lower limits than in the past) and there are dispensaries and a lot of qualifying conditions. On the other end of the spectrum you have states that have legalized CBD-only medical marijuana, with no place to purchase it or grow it. And of course there are many states that fall somewhere in between.

New Jersey is not all the way on the CBD-only end of the spectrum, but it’s definitely a state that has a very limited medical marijuana program. There are not a lot of patients because the list of qualifying conditions is small compared to many other states, and there’s even less outlets for medical marijuana. Patients are not allowed to grow their own medical marijuana, so literally the only legal way to obtain medical marijuana is from one of the handful of licensed outlets. Supply shortages are common I’m told from readers, and prices are through the roof. The prices are so high in New Jersey that it sounds like New Jersey’s own officials have stated that the prices are the highest in the nation. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

New Jersey’s five operating medical cannabis dispensaries may have the highest MMJ prices of any market in the country, according to the state’s own officials.

The state department of health released a report on March 11 that found the average ounce of cannabis in New Jersey is priced at $489, which is roughly 37% higher than other states with comparable markets such as Arizona, Maine, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont, reported.

Of those other states, New Mexico had the lowest average price, of $284 an ounce, the report found.

There are obviously a lot of states that aren’t included on the comparison list, such as Oregon, California, Washington, etc. But this report from New Jersey looked at ‘comparable markets’ so there’s some subjectivity as far as which states make the list and which don’t for comparison purposes. States with older, and in my opinion better, medical marijuana programs have much lower prices. I once saw a billboard in Oregon listing $79 ounces for example. But regardless of how New Jersey officials look at it, $489 is $489, and that’s WAY too much for a suffering patient to pay for an ounce of medical marijuana. Not when there’s a better way. New Jersey needs to fix its medical marijuana program so that suffering patients can get the compassionate, affordable safe access that they deserve.


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