Cannabis Pricing Guide

Gone are the days of buying dime bags from the guy down the street. Legal cannabis has now blossomed in a complex retail industry. If you’re wondering why legal cannabis products cost what they do, we get it. With pricing all over the map at dispensaries, it can be hard to know if you’re getting a good deal.

As your local Marlton, NJ, shop focused on education, we want to pull back the curtain on what goes into those retail price tags.

Purchasing cannabis legally is still new for many people. With so much change in a short time, it’s no wonder there’s confusion surrounding product costs. Our goal at Enlighten Dispensary is to ensure our New Jersey customers feel informed, supported, and excited about their buying decisions.

In this article, we’ll explore the different elements that influence the retail price you see on store shelves. Gaining this behind-the-scenes understanding will help you determine the product values that matter most to you. 

Factors That Influence Cannabis Prices

Wandering the aisles at our shop or looking at our online menu, you’ve probably noticed big swings in pricing. 

You’ve got White Cake prerolls at $12 a gram on one side. And premium top-shelf strains like Pete’s Farmstand Zoreoz can go upwards of $18 can go upwards on the other. What gives?

Here are the main factors that impact cannabis prices:

Basic Supply/Demand

The first reason prices vary so much is no surprise. The basic law of supply and demand. Those econ classes may seem like a lifetime ago, but the basic principles remain true. People choose different strains for different reasons. Maybe they like the taste of one or the effects of another. Either way, when many people want something, the price goes up.

Then flip it around. Take shake for example. Cannabis shake (or trim) is the crumbs and bits of flower that break off during handling. Not as pretty as whole frosty nugs, but gets the job done. Since there’s WAY more shake supply than demand, the cost stays lower.

Cannabinoid Potency

Next, let’s look at cannabinoids. These are the active compounds in cannabis, and the higher their potency, the more expensive the product tends to be. The two most popular cannabinoids you’ve likely heard about are THC and CBD. THC gives you a psychoactive effect (that sweet feeling of being high.) CBD is non-psychoactive and known for its calming effects. [1]

Naturally, a higher concentration of either cannabinoid will command a higher price. Think of it like this – Does it make sense for a 40% alcohol bottle of vodka to cost the same as a light beer? The same goes for cannabis.

More cannabinoids = a more potent experience = higher price tags.

Product Type

In a similar vein, you must understand that cannabis comes in various forms. Flowers are what many people are used to buying. It’s ideal to smoke in a joint, bong, or pipe. However, there are also edibles, which are a form of cannabis you can eat. They are often sold as candy or baked goods, but you can make them at home yourself. Beyond that, you may buy:

  • Concentrates/Extracts: A potent form of cannabis that extracts the cannabinoids from the plant.
  • Topicals: Lotions, balms, and oils infused with cannabis for localized relief.
  • Tinctures: A concentrated liquid extract by soaking cannabis in alcohol or glycerin.
  • Vaporizers: Devices that heat cannabis to the point of vaporization. They allow for inhalation without combustion.

Each type of product requires different methods and equipment to produce, which can affect its price. For example, concentrates require specialized extraction techniques, making them more expensive than traditional flower buds.

Local Taxes

Can’t forget about Uncle Sam! Taxes on cannabis products vary depending on your location. In Jersey, it begins with the 6.625% sales tax that you would pay on any other goods. Then, there may be a local municipality tax. Add the cultivation and manufacturing taxes, and you’re looking at a total of 10-12%. [2]

How this is distributed will be reflected in the final price of cannabis products.

Brand Name

The mass adoption of cannabis has led to many startups (or brands)  trying to carve out their slice of the market. Like any other industry, some did better than others. Those became the popular names that people think of when looking to purchase.

Brand recognition plays a role in pricing. Established brands like Garden Greens, with high demand and limited supply, often have higher prices than new or lesser-known brands. Mind you, that doesn’t mean the newer brands are less good. It’s all about the marketing and perception of the brand.

There might also be some fancy packaging and labeling that lead to higher prices. So, keep in mind that you may be paying for more than just the cannabis itself when purchasing a brand-name product.

Manufacturing

You might think that growing cannabis requires nothing more than planting a seed in some dirt under the sun and waiting for it to grow. But that’s not the case for mass-produced cannabis products.

Professional growers often grow indoors, using high-tech facilities that control every aspect of the plant’s growth (i.e., lighting, temperature, humidity levels.) And that takes equipment, electricity, and skilled labor. All of which add to the cost of production.

After harvesting, the final product may be turned into another form (as we’ve explored above,) which can add even more overhead for the manufacturer. Each step in the manufacturing process adds to the final cost of the product, which ultimately affects the price for consumers.

Quantity

Finally, you are likely to pay more for cannabis when buying smaller quantities. This pricing model has been around forever and will continue to be the norm for some time. For example, one gram might cost you $12, but 14 grams won’t equal twelve times fourteen. In most cases, the more you buy, the better deal you’ll get.

So, if you’re someone who knows they will be consuming more than one gram, it’s probably a better financial decision to buy in bulk.

Compare Cannabis Pricing at Enlighten Dispensary

If you want to see first-hand how pricing affects cannabis, head on over to our menu page, or better yet, come visit us in person.

Here, you can see a wide inventory of cannabis products with different price points. You can also talk to our staff, who are always happy to explain why each item costs the price it does. We strive to be as transparent as possible about our pricing.

Contact us today for more information!

Sources

[1] https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/cbd-thc-difference

[2] https://www.nj.gov/treasury/taxation/pdf/cannabis/anj30.pdf

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