Marijuana Sizes and Prices
Do you know enough about marijuana prices and the amount you can buy at one time? This is your guide to making good purchases when you visit your marijuana dispensary.
When you walk into a dispensary, do you ask for $20, $40, or $100 dollars worth of marijuana? Are you supposed to ask for marijuana by weight? How do you know if you are getting your money’s worth?
Most marijuana dispensaries use a standardized measuring system to weigh out the marijuana you purchase. Today, you’ll learn the increments in which marijuana is sold, what marijuana prices you should expect to pay, and other factors that can affect your final marijuana purchase price.
Marijuana Flower Amounts
Marijuana purchasing amounts have been largely standardized in dispensaries. When purchasing marijuana flower from a dispensary, it will typically be sold in either fractions of an ounce or in grams.
- 1G = 1 gram
- ⅛ ounce = 3.5 grams
- ¼ ounce = 7 grams
- ½ ounce = 14 grams
- 1 ounce = 28 grams
In some instances, a dispensary may round an “eighth” up to 4 grams or promote a 5 gram eighth on certain days to drive traffic to their shop.
How Much Marijuana Should I Buy?
In most legal states, you can purchase and carry up to one ounce of marijuana flower at a time.
Many new users are curious how much marijuana flower they will need each day. This will depend entirely on how much and how often you will want to smoke. Do you just need it a once or twice a day? Or will you be smoking often throughout the day? The answer to this question often comes as you build experience with the plant.
Depending on the experience of a user, a gram can last anywhere from a single session to a day or more. Start off small – you can always visit the shop again.
*Remember, you can’t bring marijuana over state lines, so if you are traveling, only buy what you know you will need during your trip.
Currently (January 2018), you will find cannabis for sale at the following prices. These prices will vary depending on your location, the individual dispensary, the quality of the cannabis, and the taxes that need to be paid. Most often, the more you buy, the less you will pay per gram in total.
Typical marijuana prices:
- One Gram : $7-$20
- Eighth : $30-$60
- Quarter : $50-$120
- Half Ounce : $100-$225
- Ounce : $170-$375
What Affects Marijuana Pricing:
When shopping for marijuana flower, there are a number of factors that may affect pricing to keep in mind.
Potency : One of the main influences on marijuana prices you pay is how potent the marijuana is. As a general rule, the higher a percentage of cannabinoids like THC and CBD in a sample of marijuana flower, the more expensive it will be. Potency can be linked to a strain’s genetics, and some marijuana strains are naturally more potent than others. It can also be linked to how well a strain is grown. Many dispensaries can provide you with independent lab testing results showing potency for individual strains they are selling.
Freshness : Another factor affecting marijuana prices will be its freshness. Older, drier marijuana will lose some of its fragrance, flavor, and even potency as terpenes and cannabinoids begin to break down from exposure to the environment around it. THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, degrades to CBN through decarboxylation, making it less potent. You can often determine freshness by smelling and visually inspecting marijuana flower. Fresh, carefully stored marijuana should be fragrant and smell fresh.
Quality of buds : Finally, the overall quality of the marijuana buds themselves can affect how much you pay. If a strain is mostly larger, thumb sized buds, it can command a higher price. Popcorn buds or smaller will often see a reduction in price. How well a strain is trimmed can also affect price since excessively leafy buds can negatively affect the smoke.
Often, dispensaries will categorize their offerings by “shelf”, taking the above factors into consideration. Top shelf signifies a premium product which will command a higher price, while bottom shelf denotes a lower quality product which will be offered at a discount price.
State and local marijuana taxes will also affect the final price of marijuana flower in a legal dispensary.
Recreational marijuana states have added specialized marijuana taxes to all purchases.
- California: 15% sales tax, $2.75–$9.25 cultivation tax per ounce.
- Oregon: 17% sales tax
- Washington: 37% sales tax
- Nevada: 15% sales tax
- Colorado: 15% excise tax, 10% sales tax
- Alaska: $50/ounce
- Maine: 10% sales tax
- Massachusetts: 3.75% sales tax
These taxes may exist along with standard retail sales tax, excise taxes, and any local taxes that are added, which can significantly drive up final costs to users. According to the Tax Foundation , consumers in Colorado may face up to 5 taxes:
- 15 percent excise tax
- 10 percent state tax on retail marijuana sales (falling to 8 percent as of July 1, 2018)
- 2.9 percent state sales tax
- local sales taxes (the average rate in Colorado is 4.6 percent)
- local excise taxes on marijuana, such as the 3.5 percent tax in Denver
Some states also levy a tax on medical marijuana. California has added a 15% sales tax on all cannabis sales, including medical marijuana. Similarly, the following states have added taxes to medical marijuana.
- Arizona : 6.6% medical marijuana sales tax
- Colorado : 2.9% generic sales tax
- Hawaii : 4.5% generic excise tax on Oahu; 4% generic excise tax everywhere else
- Illinois : 1% sales tax under the state’s pharmaceutical rate; 7% privilege tax paid by sellers and growers
- Maine : 5.5% medical marijuana sales tax
- Nevada : 2% medical marijuana excise tax
- New Jersey : 7% generic sales tax
- New York : 7% medical marijuana excise tax
- Pennsylvania : 5% medical marijuana excise tax
- Rhode Island : 7% generic sales tax; 4% medical marijuana surcharge paid by the seller
- Washington, D.C. : 5.75% generic sales tax
Getting Started with Marijuana
You can find all the information you need about marijuana, including how to get a medical marijuana card, how to grow your own cannabis at home, and which strains are the most popular on our Cannabis 101 page .
Marijuana sizes and prices vary depending on multiple factors. Click to read about what can affect the price of cannabis and about common marijuana sizes.
October 3, 2013 • 5 minute read
Mapping Cannabis Prices: An Interactive Visualization of Marijuana Sales
During a recent walk through the Tenderloin in San Francisco, a man asked me if I wanted to “trade a joint for a cigarette.”
This struck me as an odd proposition. Sure, California has no shortage of marijuana—there’s an entire Wikipedia article about cannabis in California, after all—but is it so prevalent that it’s cheaper than cigarettes? A pack of 20 cigarettes costs a little under $7 in California, or around 35 cents a cigarette. Could a joint cost so little?
Mapping the Price of Weed
For obvious reasons, collecting data on marijuana prices isn’t straightforward. Rather than relying on rigorously collected yet sparsely populated datasets like those collected through academic case studies, I instead turned to the biggest database of marijuana sales on the web: www.priceofweed.com. PriceOfWeed.com allows users to anonymously log marijuana purchases, inputting how much they bought, of what quality, at what price, and in what location. By scraping the website for all U.S. transactions from the start of 2012 through October 2, 2013, I was able to collect a dataset of nearly 130,000 individual sales. Though there are clear problems with user-inputted data—especially with regards to illegal substances—the size of the dataset likely smooths out a good bit of the noise and misreporting.
All 130,000 sales can be visualized, manipulated, and filtered in the interactive graphic below. Simply drag over selections in the bar charts to filter data, and see how average prices change by state.
A Joint for a Cigarette?
As the graphic shows, by national standards, marijuana is quite cheap in California. At an average price of $229 an ounce, a joint — which typically contains about 0.5 grams, or 0.018 ounces, of marijuana — costs about $4. While that’s cheaper than the average nationwide price of $5, it’s considerably more than a 35-cent cigarette.
But I was in the Tenderloin—maybe I was being offered a lousy joint. That’s not sufficient either: Low-quality marijuana in California costs an average of $206 dollars an ounce, or $3.60 a joint. (Interestingly, unlike above, this is higher than the national average. This perhaps suggests that Californians expect higher quality marijuana than most Americans, and judge what would be considered good marijuana elsewhere as poor.)
If low-quality marijuana doesn’t explain the proposed deal, maybe I’m not giving the Tenderloin enough credit. Maybe the man purchased his joints elsewhere in the state, and was a cunning arbitrageur taking advantage of market inefficiencies.
That’s possible — among cities with at least 20 sales, 21 of the 30 cheapest are in California. This includes the cheapest city in the country — Madera, at $129 an ounce. Still, even at that price, a joint would cost about $2.30.
What if he was arbitraging low-quality marijuana? The cheapest low-quality marijuana in the country comes from Bakersfield, CA. At an average price of $75 an ounce, however, Bakersfield’s joints cost $1.35—still four times the cost of a cigarette.
But even that may not be going far enough. As a dealer, he could be getting volume discounts, if they exist. Because distributors who hold large quantities of marijuana are subject to harsher penalties, such discounts may not apply to illegal drug trade.
Despite this, it turns out that drug markets still behave more or less normally. In the 1,162 cities for which there are at least 20 transactions, average per ounce prices are about $50 cheaper for every additional eighth of an ounce purchased. Evidently, the efforts and risks required to find more buyers are more costly than the danger of holding additional inventory.
This leaves me with two possible conclusions. The man was either a brilliant businessman, offering me low-quality weed purchased in large quantities, and imported from Bakersfield, or it was a joint full of oregano. But wait…
See how we mapped Cannabis prices across the United States and turned the data into interactive visualizations. How much does a joint cost? Let's find out.