As of this writing, 8 states and the District of Columbia have regulated cannabis for adult recreational use, a radical step away from the Federal Government’s prohibitive legislation and toward a more just society. However, the black market remains. The reason? Legal weed is comparatively expensive. If you're traveling to a recreationally legal state, you'll want to know how much cannabis costs there. Here are the average costs of an ounce of weed in all recreational states.
While “expensive” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of the remote, frigid state, Alaska’s cost of living is not cheap. A gallon of milk, for example, can be up to $10. A box of frozen pizza may run you almost $20.
An ounce of cannabis can cost up to $400.
This is a higher than average cost relative to the country’s more southern states, and there are a few reasons for this. For one, it’s Alaska. Things are more expensive because of the state’s remoteness. Secondly, the industry struggled with having the supply to meet demand during its first couple of years. Finally, Alaska collects $50 in taxes per ounce of weed which means that there is only so low prices can ever go.
Luckily, prices seem to be on the decline as supply becomes more abundant and the cultivation segment of the industry expands.
The Golden State has the most abundant supply of legal and illegal cannabis in the country. In fact, if you’ve ever smoked pot, there’s a good chance that you can trace it back to California. Since the black market has much deeper roots in the state than legal weed, it continues to thrive despite recent recreational legalization. That’s also because black market weed is still the more affordable option.
An ounce of legal weed hovers around $300.
An illegal ounce will probably be closer to $200. The state has a pretty complicated and hefty tax rate. A 15 percent excise tax is collected from the customer and a cultivation tax based on weight is imposed on the producer: $9.25/ dry ounce of flower, $2.75/ dry ounce of cannabis leaves, and $1.29/ fresh cannabis plant.
Predictions estimate that the price of weed in California will cut in half as the legal industry’s growth creates more competition.
Colorado’s recreational industry is approaching its fourth birthday. It’s still quite young, but compared to other recreational states, is far more mature. This is probably why the average price of weed in the state is so low.
An ounce of weed in Colorado costs about $150.
Colorado levies a 15% retail marijuana sales tax rate and a 15% excise tax rate on cannabis.
Maine is in limbo. The state elected to legalize recreational weed in 2016, but has faced constant opposition from Republican Governor Paul LePage. In May, the state’s legislature overrode Gov. LePage’s veto of a bill that would provide the regulatory framework for a legal cannabis industry, finally positioning the state to move forward.
A “legal” AKA gifted ounce of weed costs about $250 while an illegal ounce costs about $150.
The thing is, since the 2016 vote, it has been legal for adults in Maine to possess weed, but not to buy or sell it. That means that a “gifting” industry similar to what’s going on Washington D.C. has become the regulatory framework Maine’s market has defaulted to. It’s illegal for people to demand payment for their weed, but it’s permissible for someone to offer a donation, or for the sellers to sell merchandise along with their gift of weed.
Massachusetts dispensaries have not yet opened, but some industry experts believe that costs will start out on the higher end once recreational sales launch due to a low supply and a tax rate of about 20%. Prices for an ounce will likely hover around $250 once the market stabilizes.
Nevada made the unprecedented move of implementing its recreational cannabis laws less than a year after the state’s constituents approved of recreational weed. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when the launch of recreational sales was met with a supply shortage. That shortage resulted in high prices that persist today.
The average cost of an ounce of weed is about $325.
A 15 percent tax is imposed on the wholesale sale, a 10 percent tax is imposed on the retail sale, and an additional retail sales tax is imposed at the local rate.
As supply becomes more abundant in the state, experts predict that prices will lower as they have in states with more mature markets.
With one of the most mature cannabis markets, Oregon’s cannabis industry continues to expand which means that the prices of weed continue to plummet.
An ounce of legal weed in the state can be found for about $200.
The state imposes a 17 percent tax rate on cannabis sales and allows local governments to also impose a tax of up to 3 percent with the consent of their voters.
Unlike other recreational states, Vermont’s law does not authorize the sale of cannabis. Adults are permitted instead to grow their own plants and possess up to an ounce of weed. Although measures have been taken to legislate a regulatory framework including the means for cannabis sales, they have continued to face opposition.
The problem of oversupply has brought cannabis prices to lows that won’t be sustainable for some producers.
An ounce of weed in Washington state is about $160
making it one of the cheapest places to buy product and probably one of the worst places to start a cultivation company.
Ironically, Washington state also has one of the highest tax rates in the country. It imposes a 37 percent tax rate on recreational sales.
Because of the District of Columbia’s weird federal status (what the heck is a District of Columbia anyway?), Congress has blocked attempts for it to set up a regulatory framework authorizing the sale of cannabis. Consequently, the residents are permitted to grow, consume, and possess pot. This has led to a burgeoning “gifting” industry in which individuals give their weed away but sell a trinket along with it—the price of the trinket ostensibly covers the cost of the bud. This makes it hard to track the average cost of an ounce, but some sources show it ranging anywhere from $300-$1000.