If you pay $300 for an ounce of high-quality grass in Colorado, you should know, you’re getting ripped off.
Forbes magazine recently published a list of the states where marijuana is cheapest in America. The results are telling: The least expensive pot is found in the states where the drug is legal.
The list, based on information from PriceOfWeed.com, suggests cannabis prices are dropping in many places as reform spreads. Even black market prices show signs of decline.
Oregon is the state with the cheapest weed, according to Forbes. There, an ounce of high-grade marijuana costs just $204. The drug isn’t yet legally available on the retail market, but the first pot shops are expected to open in several months.
Pot prices vary widely
Nationwide, the average price of a good zip is $324, but the numbers range widely from one state to the next. The lowest prices are all found in the American West, including Washington, Colorado, and Alaska, all of which have legalized.
In Washington, an ounce costs $232, on average, while it costs $243 in Colorado and $295 in Alaska. Even isolated Hawaii has a below-average ranking, with a typical high-quality ounce there selling for $307.
But the cost of weed was also low in conservative Western states that aren’t likely to legalize recreational use any time soon. The average price in Montana, for example, is $266, much lower than the average east of the Rockies. Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico also have low prices.
Prices increase as you go east
Costs tend to rise as you move farther east, though there are exceptions, such as Michigan, where a good ounce averages just $285. The most expensive place to buy pot is North Dakota, where an ounce goes for a massive $387 on average. The only place in North America with higher prices is Canada, where an ounce can top $600 in some remote areas.
Costs are also especially high in South Dakota and Iowa. In the South, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Virginia, and West Virginia have the highest prices. In the east, that title belongs to Pennsylvania and Vermont, where the average is $367.
These results are mostly good news. If legalization means lower prices, that in turn means users are more likely to migrate to the legal market. The downside is less money for the industry and less tax revenue for state governments, but the upside is bigger: Affordable access to a drug that is known to be a safer alternative to liquor.
That could translate to fewer highway fatalities and reduced social consequences from alcohol abuse. Low marijuana prices don’t just make life better for hardcore stoners; they make it better for everyone.