Marijuana is mostly legal in the United States, meaning that if you need the drug, maybe for medical purposes, there are legal channels for acquiring it.
Surprisingly, the price of weed remains insanely high, making it out of reach for many. In states like Minnesota, where the laws are mixed, legal weed can cost as much as $500 or more.
Experts say the cost of establishing and running state medical cannabis programs is the primary contributor to high cannabis prices.
But the factors that determine cannabis prices are many. By identifying and addressing them at the national, state, community, and individual levels, it’d be possible to make weed way more affordable for users.
Here are some of the ways that could make marijuana more affordable:
- Making it Legal
The US laws regarding the legality of marijuana are anything but straightforward. Things are different from state to state, with most states having legal and mixed statuses.
Still, there’s a long way to go before marijuana can have full legal status and not just in individual states but at the federal level.
As things stand, however, mixed laws make regulation more challenging, and the restrictions make cannabis less accessible. These restrictions affect the cannabis movement from the farms to the hands of consumers, which makes compliance expensive.
If cannabis were completely legal, it would do away with many of the costs that come with restrictions like marijuana cards, which users have to bear. This will make cannabis products more affordable for consumers.
- By Decriminalizing it
Decriminalizing marijuana means removing criminal charges that come with moving or using the drug. It may not have a huge impact on pricing like legalization would, but it’s a start.
When marijuana is associated with criminal offenses, the illegal industry thrives, keeping prices high. Depenalization is a necessary step toward disabling the illicit market.
- Removing the Burden on Growers
Cannabis prices are heavily affected by production costs, and that starts with cultivation. Decades of prohibitions and legal hoops make it costly for growers to actually get the go-ahead to cultivate the plant.
By the time you’re preparing the soil, you’ve had to bear tax and licensing costs that can be ridiculously high.
There’s also the option of growing your flowers indoors or outdoors, both of which have pros and cons. One thing they share is compliance, and regardless of the method of cultivation, you will spend a lot to stay within legal lines.
If changes are made to review taxation and compliance laws, cannabis growers will have an easier time cultivating their crops. With the cost of production lowered, the price of the end product will drop as well.
- Innovative Consumptions Ideas
It may come as a surprise, but how you decide to ingest your stash can add more dollars to the purchase amount or keep things affordable.
In the end, you know what’s affordable for you, but if buying weed and rolling paper separately to prepare your own joint puts a dent in your pocket, you need a better alternative.
One of the most affordable ideas for consuming cannabis is the use of pre-rolls. Veriheal discusses them at length, but basically, pre-rolls are joints prepared in advance at the dispensary.
Pre-rolls usually contain lesser-quality flower, and the rolling paper used isn’t top quality either. There’s a good reason for that. You won’t have to risk buying top-shelf flower and expensive paper if you don’t know much about weed.
- More Dispensaries
Some states have hundreds of dispensaries, others just a handful. Overall, the number of dispensaries is nearly not enough to serve the growing demand for weed.
What makes dispensaries so few are the obstacles set in place by jurisdictions. Some states make getting approved for a license more difficult than others.
Compliance troubles add to the cost of setting up and operating a dispensary, making it a costly business.
Marijuana would be more affordable if more people were easily approved to operate. The more dispensaries there are, the more options there will be.
The US legal cannabis industry is huge, but it’s still new, with a lot of gray areas. People are still learning how to navigate and profit from cannabis. Perhaps with time, as the industry develops, the issue of pricing will become more stable and affordable.