What Makes Legal Cannabis Expensive?

As cannabis consumers, we have thousands of options when it comes to product offerings and knowing what to buy can sometimes come down to basic things, like price. More and more these days, consumers are concerned with the prices of their weed. That should be no surprise when prices tend to fall a bit on the higher end. Just like everything we consume, we are keen to the cost of our favorite herb and some of us might call into question, why does it seem so dang expensive? While consumers face this challenge, dispensaries and cannabis companies also face challenges. A demand for lower prices has brought a surge to illegal dispensaries in the State of California, which has affected consumers and businesses alike. In this podcast, we analyze the intricacies that influence the price of your herb and the cannabis marketplace as a whole. 

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 In this episode we are joined by Art Abrahamian of Webjoint, a cannabis software company that helps retailers manage finances, employees, inventory, taxes, etc. They’ve basically got a grip on the business side of cannabis and today he’ll gives us an idea of how legal cannabis functions and what that means for the end consumer. Staying informed on the cannabis industry can help consumers make important decisions, not just on their consumption practice but in elections too. While cannabis is legal, there is much legislation that is yet to come about and it’s important that we understand how each action will affect our right to the high. Without further ado, let’s dive into the industry!

Why is legal cannabis expensive?

 Perhaps the factor that contributes the most to cannabis prices are regulatory restrictions. So this means the legal infrastructure that dictates how legal cannabis needs to be operated. From the start, cannabis businesses need to put up a significant amount of money to get off the ground. This means covering location costs, license costs, legal fees, you name it. It’s an expensive process and that translates in some way or another to your final price. Another big contributor is the testing requirements that all products must undergo. The safety of your cannabis is crucial and companies need to prove via laboratory testing that flowers are not grown with pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Additionally, dosages and THC contents need to be verified to guarantee customers know what it is that they are buying. Finally, the taxes that are required for cannabis products can be really high. In California, taxes are prepaid every time the cannabis goes through some type of processing, like passing from grower to oil extractor and then from there to edible company and finally to dispensary. It’s no surprise that the cost is so high, but then again Uncle Sam’s gotta get his cut right? 

Can we expect prices to go down anytime soon?

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Before we get too down thinking that the cost is high now and that it’s going to be high forever, let’s look at how things might change in the future. While it’s not likely that taxes are going to change dramatically, as more companies enter the space, prices are sure to drop. This is because the supply of cannabis will be far greater than the demand. We see this is some states already, like Oregon, where prices are rock bottom. So there is hope that things might change, but what about in the meantime? A challenge that everyone is up against is the black market. You might be thinking, “I don’t have a drug dealer, I always go to a dispensary,” so you think you’re in the clear. However, you might be surprised to learn that many dispensaries are illegal operations. These locations are pretty easy to spot, they are in shady locations and they have a shady vibe. Their products are untested and perhaps most telling, they’re really cheap. It’s easy to think there’s no danger in shopping at places like this, but there are many risks you should consider. 

What are the tradeoffs of shopping at illegal dispensaries?

 The biggest danger is that products are not tested for safety. We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of lab tested cannabis. Those restrictions are in place so the health and wellbeing of consumers is prioritized. If you use cannabis for medicinal purposes, whether officially or unofficially, it would be ironic to be using products not tested for chemicals. The chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers can lead to serious problems, like cancer, down the line. While we can’t say that all illegal weed is ridden with these harmful components, there’s no certainty there’s not. Sure, that weed was cheaper, but what was the real cost to you? It’s something to at least keep in mind. Another risk is that you don’t know the exact dosages or THC levels you’re getting from your product. This can lead you to uncomfortable highs and negative experiences, something we should all want to avoid. 

Final Thoughts

Cannabis prices are influenced by a wide factor of things but we need to keep in mind why they are so high. Hopefully the future will hold easier access to our favorite plant, but in the meantime, let’s be cognizant of where we purchase. If prices are something your concerned about, consider personal growing as a way to cut costs because illegal dispensaries aren’t really worth the risks. In addition, keep an eye out for the changes that are happening on the legalization end and in the delivery space. More and more we’re seeing delivery as a legitimate option for getting your cannabis. Delivery makes purchasing far easier and very soon you might see it as the primary way to get your green. If you are new to cannabis and you are looking for a place to get started, download the Cannacopia app. We are dedicated to giving you a personalized cannabis experience by giving you full control. Try us today and if you want to learn more cannabis, be sure to give our podcast a listen! Stay high friends.