8/31/2011 - Floatingsheep.org released their analysis of the underground marijuana market in the United States. The end result isn’t news to consumers: East Coast residents pay the most for an ounce of pot.
Wired magazine also featured a unique map (see below) that was created from the study data. It compares marijuana prices to the severity of laws. There were some other factors included into the equation, like the distance from Humbolt County, California.
The study centers on prices gathered directly from the public through anonymous online submissions. Thousands of individual reports were sent in through www.priceofweed.com.
Here is their rundown on the average cost of top-shelf marijuana:
Distribution of High Quality Observations by State
Connecticut Reports= 124 Price = $426.20/oz
Delaware Reports = 26 Price = $450.00/oz
D.C. Reports= 71 Price = $460.70/oz
Florida Reports=575 Price = $361.80/oz
Georgia Reports = 209 Price = $412.20/oz
Maine Reports = 57 Price = $360.00/oz
Maryland Reports = 162 Price = $436.30/oz
Mass. Reports = 368 Price = $416.30/oz
New Hampshire Reports = 58 Price = $407.60/oz
New Jersey Reports = 198 Price = $412.40/oz
New York Reports = 876 Price = $416.90/oz
N. Carolina Reports = 254 Price = $417.90/oz
Pennsylvania Reports = 400 Price = $414.30/oz
Rhode Island Reports =71 Price = $419.30/oz
S. Carolina Reports = 98 Price = $399.00/oz
Vermont Reports = 61 Price =$393.60/oz
Virginia Reports =223 Price = $411.90/oz
West Virginia Reports = 35 Price =$392.80/oz
High Times Magazine has employed a similar method of collecting price information from readers for many years. The monthly “THMQ Pot Prices” column also offers a market analysis of different grades of marijuana and even individual strains.
Again, East Coast readers of HT mag are willing to exchange the most greenbacks for green flowers (with hints of reds, lavenders, oranges and purples). High Times July 2011 THMQ showed Chem Dog selling in New York for an astounding $560 per ounce.
While that was definitely the costliest bud found, many of the THMQs are close match for the floatingsheep.org prices.
Population density, thus simple demand, is a major factor to driving up prices on the East Coast. The severity of laws also tends to bump up the cost as distributors take a greater risk and pass that on to consumers.
Perhaps the most interesting trend for the cost of cannabis has been its stability over the last decade. There have been moderate increases in the cost of all grades of marijuana. But there has been nothing of a cannabis price bubble compared to other consumer items, like housing, food or gasoline.
Some good news is that several data sources are showing a general decline in marijuana prices. For example the floatingsheep.org study showed that Oregonians pay an average of $255.80 per ounce for high-grade cannabis. So far, those kinds of price reductions have not reached the East Coast.
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Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions? email@example.com