When you’re at the store shopping for a bottle of wine, what drives your purchasing decision? The price point? Maybe the region where the grapes were grown? Or, perhaps it’s just a particular brand aesthetic that entices you. The same situation applies to buying cannabis these days.
When shopping in a dispensary, the possibilities are seemingly endless. If you want a high THC strain, or a 1:1, or even just a pre-roll made with shake weed, there are plenty of choices. Most dispensaries offer multiple tiers of weed, and they are priced and labeled in a way to help shoppers make their decision. Let’s take a look at weed prices by the ounce, and what influences these prices.
How Much is an Ounce of Weed
In most cases, if you buy or weigh an ounce of weed, it’s going to hit the scale at 28 grams. And that’s correct — although if you want to get technical — an ounce of weed is 28.34952 grams. But, most people just call an ounce 28 grams.
Pricing for an ounce depends on two critical factors — location and quality. For example, the price for an ounce of weed in D.C. is $591! But when you look at averages in a more established market — like on the West Coast — it’s closer to about $250.
States that have been in a medical or recreational program longest tend to have the cheapest prices because they’ve had the time to dial in cultivation and reduce their production cost. Those savings trickle down to the consumer.
When it comes to quality, there are often several tiers. For example, Flow Kana is a California-based cannabis brand. They break down their weed into four categories by quality. Farmer’s Reserve is their best of the best, and has the highest price point. Next is their Gold tier, Silver tier, and finally, their $99 ounces. While the flower is still decent quality on the $99 ounces, it’s the smallest buds in the bunch.
To further break down the cost, consider this: a gram of weed will probably get you about two average-sized joints or two to three average-sized bowls. In the case of Flow Kana’s $99 ounces, that means you can smoke a bowl for about $1.50. That’s pretty hard to beat. At $250 an ounce, you are paying about $4.46 per half-gram joint.
Keep in mind that if you are buying by the gram, rather than springing for an ounce, you’re going to spend a whole lot more for that one bowl or joint.
How Much is a Half-Ounce of Weed
Not everyone wants or needs to buy weed by the ounce. However, keep in mind that prices are better the more you buy, so you can expect to pay a little more per gram for a half ounce.
At 14 grams, a half ounce runs somewhere between $90 on the low end and $160 on the high end. Let’s assume you went for the high-quality buds at $160. If a gram equals two joints, you are paying about $5.74 for a half-gram joint.
However, a half ounce at $160 will get you roughly 28 half-gram joints and 35 average-sized bowls, which is still a pretty stellar deal.
How Much Does an 8th Cost
Buying weed by the eighth is a classic purchase. This is just simply how weed was sold on the black market when visiting a dealer, and it transfers well into a dispensary model when dividing pounds. It’s also nice because you get a chance to try out a strain without making a huge commitment in case the strain doesn’t end up on your favorites list.
Buying an eighth won’t afford you many discounts, but it’s still better than buying by the gram. An eighth weighs in at 3.5 grams, and is usually retailed between $25 to $55. However, you will find $20 eighths and $60 eighths depending on quality and location. An eighth is equivalent to about seven joints or eight bowls.
If you’re paying $50 for an eighth, that equates to spending $7.14 on a half-gram joint, and roughly $5.71 per bowl.
Cost of Weed: Factors to Consider
If you’re reading this now and wondering why the price ranges vary so dramatically, there are several factors to consider.
Indoors vs Outdoors
Indoor herb almost always cost more than outdoor buds. While some people think this is because indoor plants produce higher quality buds, this is not entirely true. While indoor vs outdoor is a hot debate among the cannabis community, the truth of the matter is that indoor costs more because of the costs incurred to produce it.
Growing indoors requires a massive amount of energy to run the tech required to maintain an optimal environment. And that’s on top of the often expensive rental costs for a space large enough to accommodate a large-scale grow. Outdoor weed simply requires much less upfront cost with less environmental impact.
While this can apply to growing too, it’s also a very important factor for dispensary owners. Owning and operating a retail location is not cheap, and all of that licensing, security, and staffing affects the overall costs of the products. The margins have to cover these costs and still turn a profit for business owners.
Buying weed in generic containers as opposed to one specially branded by the cannabis company will absolutely affect the cost. Loose buds in a kush tube with a label printed in-house vs a beautiful amber glass jar with custom etching is not going to hit the same price point. Some people might not care about branding, and for others, it’s a part of the experience.
This is perhaps the most shocking factor when considering pricing. Every state, and sometimes even different counties or cities, will impose a varying tax rate. For example, in Oregon, the state excise tax for adult-use marijuana is 17%. On top of that is an additional 3% local tax. That means that if you buy an ounce of weed for $250, there will be an extra $50 tacked on for taxes.
Typically, medical card holders do not pay the state or local taxes when they shop with their marijuana card. For anyone with a qualifying medical condition, this can mean huge savings at the dispensary if you get your card.
Where to Find the Best Weed Prices
Dispensaries and delivery services are super convenient, but there are the taxes to consider. For thrifty weed shopping, try out new dispensaries and take advantage of the first-time customer discounts. Many stores offer specials like “Weed Wednesday” with discounts on pre-rolls or even ounces. With a little effort, you are likely to find a discount somewhere.
Several brands are cutting out the middleman in efforts to provide better pricing for their customers. This direct to consumer approach will continue to grow, allowing customers to shop online directly for their favorite brands and have their order delivered. Shop online and find deals on Flow Kana’s $99 ounces, and save even more on their half ounces with bulk purchases.
When shopping for weed, the more you buy the more you save. Might as well stock up!