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For the longest time, marijuana was an under-the-table commodity. It was talked about in hushed tones and exchanged discreetly so as to avoid detection.
During those dark days, weed prices were largely dependent on the whims of the person doing the selling. There was no online infographic explaining what weed costs. You just paid what “your guy” asked because you didn’t know where else to go.
Ganja is now discussed openly by everyone from big-name financiers to the average joe on the internet. In some states, you can even walk into a corner store and purchase a bit of wacky tabacky for the weekend…legally.
That’s all well and good, but the age-old question still remains: How do you know if you’re paying too much for a date with Mary Jane? Don’t fret! The experts at Honest Marijuana are here to help. We’ve done the research and gathered all the information in one place so you don’t have to spend hours looking for the best deal.
In this article, we’ll compare weed prices across the country so you know what the going rate is in your area. We’ll also give you some insight into what affects the price of weed in your state and around the country.
To help you find the information you’re looking for, we’ve categorized the pricing based on the most common quantities of cannabis: gram, eighth, quarter, half, ounce. These are the divisions used by dispensaries from Maine to Florida and Massachusetts to California. All you have to do is walk in and say, “Give me a gram please,” and you’ll be on your way to flying in your very own Blue Dream.
First, though, let’s talk about the various stages of legalization that exist in the United States.
Table of Contents
- Stages Of Marijuana Legalization
- What Does Weed Cost?
- Factors That Affect Weed Price
- Putting It All Together
- Quality Over Quantity
Stages Of Marijuana Legalization
As of this writing, there are six basic categories of marijuana legalization in the United States. They are:
- Fully legal
- Medical and decriminalized
- Medical only
- CBD only
- Fully illegal
The particulars of the middle few classifications can be rather opaque, convoluted, and confusing, so be sure to check the local laws in the state where you live.
The fully legal classification means that individuals 21 and over can purchase cannabis and cannabis products for medical and recreational purposes without a doctor’s prescription. In these states, marijuana is much like alcohol and cigarettes — it’s still a controlled substance — so you might be asked to show an I.D. to prove your age — but you can buy it from a licensed dispensary without too much difficulty.
Here are the 18 states and one district where marijuana is fully legal:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
Medical And Decriminalized
The medical and decriminalized classification means that individuals 18 and over can purchase cannabis and cannabis products for medical purposes only. Typically, that requires obtaining a doctor’s prescription and applying for a medical marijuana card.
Additionally, in states where weed has been decriminalized, it means that possession of a small amount of pot for personal consumption is not a criminal offense.
In most cases (usually depending on the quantity in your possession), it’s treated like a minor traffic violation so you won’t be arrested, you won’t serve prison time, and you won’t wind up with a criminal record.
Here are the 11 states that hold the medical and decriminalized classification:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
The medical only classification means that individuals 18 and over can purchase cannabis and cannabis products (both THC and CBD) for medical purposes only. Typically, that requires obtaining a doctor’s prescription and applying for a medical marijuana card.
In states with this classification, however, possession of marijuana is still a misdemeanor — not as serious as a felony, but more serious than an administrative infraction or a regulatory offense — and, depending on how much pot you have on you, you could do some jail time.
Here are the eight states where only medical marijuana is legal:
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
NOTE: Marijuana is still fully illegal in states with the decriminalized classification, but possession is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
The decriminalized classification means that you can’t buy marijuana — it’s still fully illegal — but, if you’re caught with it in your possession, it’s no longer a felony.
Again, the differences from state to state are often murky, so be sure to check the laws where you live.
Here are the two states where weed is still illegal but has been decriminalized
- North Carolina
The CBD Only classification means that it’s legal to buy and sell CBD products (typically CBD oil), but possession of other forms of cannabis is still a felony offense (it has not been decriminalized).
Here are the six states that hold the CBD Only classification:
The fully illegal classification means that you can’t buy or sell cannabis or cannabis products (including CBD) in any form. If you’re caught with marijuana, it’s a felony offense.
Here are the five states where marijuana is still fully illegal:
- South Carolina
What Does Weed Cost?
In the sections below, we’ll give you an average price for all the states where medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal.
Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia (a.k.a. Washington D.C., which isn’t technically a state) have passed laws legalizing medical and/or recreational marijuana in one form or another.
We’re also excluding states that have passed CBD Only legislation because asking, “What does weed cost?” typically means the price you’d pay for a certain quantity of dried and cured bud.
Those states include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
Prices in states where medical or recreational marijuana isn’t legal could vary considerably from this list. Also, keep in mind that the prices listed here are for medium-quality weed. High-quality weed will cost more while low-quality weed will cost less.
These are also just averages. Smaller quantities will likely cost more than larger quantities. It’s also important to remember that a lot goes into pricing marijuana for sale. We’ll delve into this toward the end of the article. But for now, remember that actual prices in your state may vary.
For example, if the price listed here for a gram of weed is $10 or $11, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that your local dispensary might charge $15. But when prices start approaching $20 or more for that same gram of ganja, you have some inkling that it isn’t a good deal.
That said, use this guide as a frame of reference, not as the bottom line, this-is-what-I’m-going-to-pay-or-else number. OK? Let’s get started!
What Does Weed Cost Per Gram?
The gram is the base unit for measuring marijuana. Technically speaking, it’s a metric unit of mass equal to one-thousandth of a kilogram. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, someone decided to measure weed in larger quantities based on the ounce.
The ounce is a unit of weight roughly equal to one-sixteenth of a pound. So when you’re measuring cannabis, you’re mixing metric and Imperial units. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way of the marijuana world, so get used to it. But back to the gram…
As you’ll see as we go along, the various ounce measurements are based on grams, so it’s useful to know the price for this small quantity.
A great visual reference for a gram is the bottle cap. The size of one bottle cap is roughly equivalent to one gram of marijuana. We say “roughly” because the density of the bud can vary. Because of this variation, the size of one gram can change. But for comparison purposes, the bottle cap makes a good frame of reference.
Another great way to gauge these common quantities is by how many joints they yield. This is by no means an exact science, but your average joint weighs in at 0.7 grams of marijuana. Basically, then, a gram gives you 1.5 joints. Again, this is a very rough estimate.
As to the prices below, these are based on the average price for an ounce of medium-quality weed. Actual prices in your area may range from $9-$15 a gram.
What Does Weed Cost Per Eighth?
An eighth (of an ounce) is equal to 3.5 grams. With our bottle-cap comparison, an eighth of an ounce of weed is roughly equivalent to three bottle caps. An eighth will produce about five joints if rolled sparingly.
What Does Weed Cost Per Quarter?
A quarter (of an ounce) is equal to 7 grams. On the visual scale, that’s about seven bottle caps. Remember, it’s not an exact visual representation. It is, however, a good approximation you can use to guesstimate the amount of weed you’re getting.
A quarter of an ounce of MJ will produce about 10 joints rolled with 0.7 grams each.
What Does Weed Cost Per Half?
A half (of an ounce) is equal to 14 grams. You’ve probably figured out the math by now, but just in case: a half an ounce of marijuana would likely yield twenty joints.
What Does Weed Cost Per Ounce?
An ounce is equal to 28 grams. A pile that weighs in at an ounce will be about as large as twenty-eight bottle caps. This quantity of marijuana can produce about forty joints.
Now that you’ve got an idea what weed costs in your state (or a state near you), let’s delve into the factors that affect weed price. That way, you’ll know why there’s such a difference between the price of marijuana in Montana and the price of marijuana in North Dakota.
Factors That Affect Weed Price
Weed Prices By State
Where you live is probably the biggest factor affecting weed prices. And it’s not just geography. It’s your state’s stand on legalization. In most places where weed isn’t legal, dealers can go to jail for selling. Because of this, their prices are often going to be higher in reflection of the risk.
Looking a bit closer at geography, it’s easy to see why this factor can have a large effect on the price you pay for the weed in your bong. Most weed is grown in warmer climates with fairly stable daytime temperatures that range from 75 to 86 ℉.
Temperatures above 88 ℉ and below 60 ℉ can decrease THC content and slow growth. That means that ideal weed growing locations are few and far between. The plant can be grown in these less-than-ideal locations but the quality of the strain will be affected.
What does all that mean to you, the consumer? It means that the weed you buy has to be shipped in from somewhere else. Transportation has to be taken into consideration, and that cost will be factored into the final price you pay for your marijuana.
What does that look like, exactly? For starters, planes, trains, and automobiles all run on gas, which costs money. Labor (which is also not free) is needed to load, drive, and unload the product to its destination. The price of fuel and labor is then included in the final price you pay. So, as you can see, geography has a lot to do with the price you pay for your wacky weed.
Where You Buy Weed
Again, depending on where you live, you have two options: buying from an individual “on the street” or buying from a registered dispensary or storefront. Where you buy has a major effect on weed prices.
In states where the sale of marijuana is legal, registered dispensaries and storefronts are typically cheaper than individuals selling on the street. The nice thing is dispensaries are also more reputable. They have to follow strict guidelines in the labeling and display of their product.
You’ll always know what you’re getting when you buy from a dispensary. The guy on the street doesn’t have to follow those guidelines, so you never know exactly what you might get into your dime bag.
For one thing, you might be paying a premium for what the guy on the street claims is high-quality cannabis. In actuality, you could be getting the dregs or leftovers (the shake). You wouldn’t want to pay $50 for something that’s actually only worth maybe $8.
For another thing, not knowing what you’re getting when you purchase a drug can be deadly. This is evident by the recent outbreak of overdoses caused by carfentanil-laced heroin.
Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer that is between 5000 and 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. The equivalent of a few grains of salt of carfentanil can kill an adult human.
Imagine that stuff showing up in your eighth-ounce of Fruity Pebbles! It’s better to buy from a trusted source, like a dispensary, and know what you’re getting than to buy from Joe Blow and risk your life.
Depending on where you buy, competition may be another influential factor on the price of weed. If there are multiple individuals or multiple dispensaries selling in the same area, their competition for your business may cause them to lower their prices. If no competition exists, dealers can charge more for their product because it is a relatively scarce commodity.
A prime example of competition in action is two gas stations located on opposite sides of the same street. To get you to pull up to their pumps, gas station A may lower their price significantly for a few hours or an entire day.
In response to gas station A’s price drop, gas station B may lower their prices even more. If you’re a savvy consumer, you keep your eyes on their signs and fill your tank with the gas that costs less.
The same “push-and-pull” reaction can happen between ganja dispensaries in the same area. For example, dispensary A may lower the price of an eighth of Cherry OG to pull consumers off the street. In response, dispensary B may discount the price of a quarter of Sour Diesel.
If you know what you normally pay for these quantities — and if you’re not picky about the strain — you can get a really great deal. All thanks to competition and the effect it has on weed prices.
In states where marijuana is legal, the sale of the weed is always associated with a tax or fee of some sort. Colorado, for example, includes a state tax rate of 2.9% and a special marijuana sales tax of 10%.
And if that isn’t enough, Colorado then applies a local tax (usually 0.5% to 1%) that varies by location on every dollar spent. They also tack on a 15% excise tax on every pound. This tax is paid by the wholesaler but can certainly impact the cost you pay as the end user.
Just for reference, sales tax — the money tacked on to every purchase you make — ranges from 1.69% to 9.45% in the United States. That means that you pay anywhere from a penny to a dime extra per dollar for the things you buy.
Extending that to marijuana sales, in Colorado, you’ll pay almost $0.14 more for every dollar you spend. So if you buy a half an ounce for $100.00, you’re going to pay almost $14 in sales tax.
And even if the tax rate paid by you, the end user, is fairly low, there may be taxes on production, transportation, and packaging (just to name a few) that can have a dramatic effect on the final price of cannabis products in your state.
As you can see, how much of a tax is charged at any point in the supply chain can have a dramatic effect on the price you pay for your fix.
Quality Of Weed
Quality is another major variable that affects weed prices. High-quality ganja is obviously going to cost more than medium- or low-quality stuff. We’re all familiar with this when it comes to gas for our car. Premium-grade gasoline costs more than regular unleaded.
You may not have much control over the quality of the weed being sold in your area, but when prices fluctuate from one week to the next for the same type and quantity, quality may have a lot to do with it.
When You Buy
Cannabis that’s grown outside is usually ready for harvest by September. In the weeks and months following a successful harvest, prices may decrease as the supply available increases.
If you’ve got the money to spend, buying a larger quantity once — instead of a smaller quantity multiple times — may be a way to take advantage of the price drop that comes with a supply increase.
Whether or not you choose to go that route depends on marijuana perishability and preservation. If you can keep your cannabis fresh longer, you’re better off buying in bulk when the time is right in order to save money.
Of course, seasons don’t really matter for weed that’s grown indoors. Hydroponically grown MJ is harvested all throughout the year. But that doesn’t mean the prices won’t change depending on when you buy!
It’s all simple supply-and-demand economics. If a grower harvests a huge crop of buds, you’ll probably be able to buy some at a price that’s lower than normal.
Why? Because your grower has a bunch of weed stocked up that he wants to sell while it’s still fresh. Lowering the prices means the buds sell faster. Every so often, you might get lucky and pick up a bag at a discount for this reason.
How Much You Buy
As with most products in the world, you can often get a bulk discount when you buy marijuana in larger quantities. This same principle holds true for pretty much every product imaginable.
If you buy a can of soup from a grocery store, you might pay $1.50. But the grocery store definitely paid much less for it. How else would they make money? Of course, they got the cans of soup at a lower price because they didn’t just buy one can. They probably bought one million cans.
Weed works the same way. For instance, a single gram of high-quality bud may cost you 20 bucks. But, if you buy a quarter or a half ounce, you may end up getting a price break. A quarter may only cost $100, which works out to just over 14 bucks a gram. That’s a pretty solid discount.
How Your Marijuana Is Grown
Another component that influences the price you pay for weed is how that weed is grown. Cannabis that’s grown outdoors is much less expensive to produce. This is because light, water, soil, and temperature are regulated by nature and don’t require a lot of extra money, time, and effort from the growers.
Indoor-grown cannabis, on the other hand, requires special lights, climate control, watering, feeding, and the electricity that makes it all possible. Maintaining and regulating these components can be very labor-intensive, not to mention being expensive to set up and operate.
But while outdoor-grown marijuana may be less expensive to produce, indoor-grown marijuana can be produced at a higher standard. This is because all the elements that nature usually takes care of can be tweaked to perfection by man and his technology.
Indoor-growers can isolate specific wavelengths of light to give the cannabis plant the nourishment it needs. Indoor-growers can control the humidity and precisely manage watering and fertilization. They can also almost completely eliminate insects and other pests that plague the cannabis plant without the need for pesticides.
That means you, the consumer, receive a healthier, natural product and don’t have to worry about toxins in your marijuana. That premium on health and safety can mean a big difference in price between organic, indoor-grown ganja and the same strain of outdoor-grown cannabis.
The potency of the strain you’re shopping for also has a lot to do with determining what does weed cost.
More potent varieties — even of the same strain — will fetch a higher price because they contain more cannabinoids.
Another variable that can affect price, especially among extracts like wax and shatter, is the concentration. Concentration is similar to potency (often synonymous) but usually refers to products that have been made from raw bud.
These products are classified as full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate. The closer the product gets to being an isolate, the more concentrated THC or CBD it contains.
Once it hits isolate status, it contains 100% of whatever cannabinoid has been pulled out of the original plant.
Putting It All Together
Though amounts may vary widely from state to state, and even city to city, weed prices are beginning to approach some semblance of fair-market value. As more and more states legalize recreational marijuana, more and more storefronts will appear to sell it.
As the marijuana industry continues to grow, prices will eventually become fairly consistent across the country. You’ll never pay the same everywhere you go, but prices will be fairly consistent throughout the country.
When that time arrives, you’ll be able to know for sure, wherever you are, whether you’re getting a good deal on the weed you need. Until then, you’ll need to rely on the info we’ve provided here in this guide. Let’s do a quick recap of what we’ve covered.
First, we laid out the average price for a gram, eighth, quarter ounce, half ounce, and ounce of mid-grade marijuana, state by state. Then we covered the factors that affect how much you pay for your buds. These factors include:
- The state you live in
- Where you buy your weed from
- The amount of competition in your local weed market
- Your state’s sales tax and weed tax
- What quality of MJ you buy
- When you buy your buds
- How much weed you buy in one purchase
- How your marijuana is grown
- The potency of the weed
These are all the main variables that will determine how much you pay for your green. Of course, there are other things at play, but these are the major influencers.
The important thing to remember is that the price of weed isn’t fixed! It’s going to go up or down based on where you buy. Just use this guide to help you, and make sure you’re content with the price you’re paying to get high.
Quality Over Quantity
The best tip we can give when you’re investigating the question, “What does weed cost?” — whether you’re shopping for THC or CBD products — is to always choose quality over quantity.
By and large, most cannaenthusiasts divide weed into four different levels of quality:
For more information on these four designations (including how they got their names), check out our article The Differences Between Beasters, Headies, Mids, And Regs.
When you’re shopping for cannabis, opt for beasters, or, better yet, headies if you can afford it. Your stash will last longer (because you don’t have to use as much), you’ll get more mileage from a small amount, and the experience will be out of this world.
If you can’t find the first two, mids will do in a pinch, but always shy away from regs (the literal bottom of the barrel) unless you have no other choice.
And, when possible, insist on including organic marijuana and organic marijuana products (like those grown and produced by Honest Marijuana) in any recipes you use when cooking with cannabis.
Organic marijuana is free of harmful fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals that will harsh your buzz.
If you’re looking for the best cannabis experience bar none, don’t settle for anything less than a high-quality organic marijuana strain from Honest Marijuana.
Click or tap here to search for a location near you that sells the best marijuana on the planet — Honest Marijuana.
For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products — including flowers, honest blunts, concentrates, CBD oil tincture, CBD gummies, and CBD cream — visit HonestMarijuana.com today.
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