The Cost of Colorado Pot May Be Doubling, but It’s Still Pretty Cheap

Although the price of marijuana in Colorado is rising, the drug is a bargain there compared with the illegal market.

A clearly excited man selects marijuana strains to purchase at the 3-D Denver Discrete Dispensary on January 1, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.
National Journal
Matt Berman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Matt Berman
Jan. 6, 2014, 6:47 a.m.

The Col­or­ado pot in­dustry is hav­ing a party. With stores be­gin­ning to leg­ally sell marijuana for re­cre­ation­al use, the laws of sup­ply and de­mand have taken over. Right now, with only a few dozen re­cre­ation­al shops in op­er­a­tion, leg­al sup­ply is reas­on­ably low. But de­mand is skyrock­et­ing, and many stores say that they’re already on the brink of selling out.

That means, as Bloomberg re­ports Monday, that marijuana dis­pens­ar­ies that are li­censed to sell re­cre­ation­al pot are jack­ing up prices. An eighth of an ounce of med­ic­al pot has been go­ing for around $25 in Col­or­ado. Now, a re­cre­ation­al eighth is go­ing for more like $45, roughly doub­ling the price.

That may sound like a steep in­crease. But for people who may be more ac­cus­tomed to buy­ing pot off the street, $45 is a deal worth tak­ing.

In our na­tion’s cap­it­al, a high-qual­ity eighth is go­ing for as much as $80 in 2014, ac­cord­ing to Price of Weed, a self-pro­claimed “glob­al price in­dex for marijuana.” A me­di­um-qual­ity eighth in Col­or­ado’s neigh­bor, Wyom­ing, went for $60 this past Decem­ber.

When you look at the price of a full ounce, things get a bit di­ci­er. In Col­or­ado, a re­cre­ation­al ounce of pot is now go­ing for an av­er­age of $400, com­pared to $200 for med­ic­al. That’s a pretty high num­ber by most stand­ards. The av­er­age price of a high-qual­ity ounce in D.C. is $352.18, and nearly the same in New York. A high-qual­ity ounce also goes for about $350 in Col­or­ado bor­der-states Kan­sas, Neb­raska, and Wyom­ing. The price is about $300 in Ari­zona, just un­der $300 in Utah and New Mex­ico, and just over $360 in Ok­lahoma.

That roughly $50 dif­fer­ence between the leg­al, re­cre­ation­al high-qual­ity eighth and a high-qual­ity eighth off the street may seem like a lot to some shop­pers. But when you factor in risk, it’s easy to ima­gine ra­tion­ally pay­ing that ex­tra $50 for peace-of-mind and a bit more of a choice and qual­ity-as­sur­ance in what kind of pot you’re buy­ing. And it can also be something of a time-suck to track down and pur­chase il­leg­al pot, es­pe­cially com­pared with the ease of just walk­ing in­to a store.

Not to men­tion, the high cur­rent costs of re­cre­ation­al pot in Col­or­ado are un­likely to last. “As more busi­nesses open and the busi­nesses get a sense of what the de­mand is and are able to meet it,” the ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the Na­tion­al Can­nabis In­dustry As­so­ci­ation tells Bloomberg, “the prices will go back down.”

The price of leg­al re­cre­ation­al pot in Col­or­ado may nev­er get as low as the price for med­ic­al marijuana. But that doesn’t mean it won’t quickly be­come a much bet­ter deal than you can get off the street.

What We're Following See More »
MEETING WITH SENATE GOP
Trump to Hill Next Tuesday
40 minutes ago
THE DETAILS
INTERPARTY FEUDING CONTINUES UNDER PEREZ
Longtime Progressive Members Pushed Out at DNC
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."

Source:
LAST-DITCH FOR A FEW, SPECIFIC CASES
FDA Approves Personalized Cancer Therapy
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
WILL RESIGN BY JAN. 31
Rep. Tiberi Confirms Resignation Report
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a statement, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH 12) confirmed a New York Times report that he would resign to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. "While I have not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018."

Source:
AID DROPPED TO 222,000
Unemployment Claims Fall to Lowest in 44 Years
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level" since March 1973. According to the Labor Department Thursday, "claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000." Additionally, "the less volatile four-week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250, lowest since late August."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login