If you’ve visited a dispensary lately, it’s likely you saw wide-ranging cannabis pricing. Currently in California, the average price of an eighth of cannabis flowers ranges from $20 to $65 but can go even higher.
You may ask yourself, “Is it really worth it to shell out the extra money for these high-priced strains? Are they really that much better?”
You may assume the answer is yes, but that’s not the case. A variety of factors go into pricing cannabis, quality being only one.
Factors impacting cannabis pricing include:
Cultivation methods: Using high-quality growth medium, fertilizers and nutrients as well as earth-friendly farming methods can cost more than getting by on the bare minimum and cheapest available.
Certifications: Certified organic and other important farming certifications are costly to acquire and maintain. Their high standards ensure a healthier product but often require significant investment on the part of the farmer.
Time and energy: A cultivator who has spent considerable time and energy carefully crafting a truly incredible strain is entitled to charge more for a superior product.
Ethical business practices: The cost of operating a legal cannabis business is very high, from the permits to the lab testing. Companies that operate illegally or don’t fully adhere to regulations can undercut the competition with lower prices. Beware of unusually cheap cannabis!
Reputation: Some cultivators develop an award-winning strain and then price all future strains accordingly. It doesn’t mean every strain is of the same superior quality! Other farms may be growing even better cannabis but sell it for less due to financial reasons. A small family farm may need a fast cash infusion versus a larger entity who can afford slower sales at higher prices.
Quality: A gorgeous batch of perfectly cured, crystalized bud with a rich aroma, smooth smoke and tantalizing flavor is definitely worth spending a little more on!
Test Results: High THC is one reason cannabis strains price higher than others, but don’t let this be your only consideration. THC percentage is just a small part of the chemistry that makes cannabis work!
Branding: Sometimes a cannabis strain is priced higher because the farm uses clever branding. High-end packaging, flashy advertising and celebrity tie-ins can drive up cannabis prices in a way not reflected in its quality.
So, is it worth it? It depends. Get to know the farms your local dispensary carries. Learn about their cultivation practices and of course, consider the overall quality. You may find some amazing strains are a bargain while others are overpriced, sub-par cannabis. It’s worth doing a little research to get the most for your money!