Across the U.S., 18 states along with Washington D.C. and Guam have legalized recreational cannabis use. Including medical marijuana, sales in the U.S. are projected to top $24 billion this year, up nearly 40% from 2020 — which was also an exceptional year for the weed industry.
And things are only looking to go up further. Vermont will join the legalization ranks in 2022. South Dakota is also veering in the direction of legalizing recreational cannabis. State voters approved a ballot initiative to that effect last year. Although state officials persuaded a court to throw it out on technical grounds, advocates are planning to try again next year.
Examining data collected from Weedmaps, we took a look at how pricing for legalized recreational weed is shaping up across the country. We focused specifically on states where the market is the most mature: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. Our pricing information, which includes marijuana flower as well as concentrate, edibles and related products, is accurate as of November 2021.
Regulations, taxes and local competition play significant roles in determining the average weed prices in each state. Prices trend especially high in Illinois, where even the lowest-priced dispensaries have average prices well over $50. Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts also tend to be higher-prices, with lowest-priced shops charging in the $30 or $40-range.
At the low end are Washington, Oregon, California and Colorado, where dispensaries are plentiful and the cheapest average prices dip below $20. Competition and over-supply are particularly strong factors in California, where growers and sellers have been struggling as of late. Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, excess weed can’t be sold across state lines to other markets.
But the upshot of all this competition for customers, anyway, is low prices. Here are some of the cheapest dispensaries in each of the seven states we examined, based on the average price of their product mix.
In 2014, Alaska became the third state in the union to legalize recreational pot use. Since then, the industry has exploded, to a point where the state is saturated with dispensaries. Beyond the sheer volume of licensees fighting for the same limited product to sell, there are numerous tax problems. Nonetheless, cannabis revenue is pouring in for the state. As of 2020, it outpaced alcohol sales. Weed is still relatively expensive in Alaska, compared with other states. But here is a selection of the cheapest shops, by average price.
AK Frost, Anchorage, $35.47 average item price
This vertically integrated vendor is a three-time winner of the High Times Cannabis Cup. The shop offers flower in 1g sizes and up, pre-rolled joints, vaporizers and concentrates.
The Fireweed Factory, Juneau, $38.64 average item price
This shop sells flower in amounts as small as 0.5g pre-rolled, as well as edibles, vape pens, concentrates, and seeds for growing. (It also sells decorative stickers for $1 each, which may help bring down the average price.)
The Depot, Willow, $43 average item price
The shop, located in a town of about 2,000 people about 70 miles northwest of Anchorage, boasts a selection of flower, edibles, topicals (such as balms and lotions), concentrates and vape pens.
California has always been a marijuana hotspot. The so-called Emerald Triangle in Humboldt, Marin and Trinity Counties the majority of pot consumed across the U.S. Our dataset shows that in general, the Bay Area and the agricultural powerhouse Central Valley have the lowest prices. (With a few low-priced options in the L.A.-area as well.) Here are the cheapest.
The Hook Outlet, Capitola, $19.50 average item price
It’s not too surprising that Santa Cruz is home to cheap weed: It is one of two “Surf Cities” in California (the other is Huntington Beach). There is a long history connecting surf and cannabis cultures. The dispensary boasts on its website that it has the “most affordable cannabis” in the area. Our research appears to confirm that.
Patient Care First, Modesto, $20.10 average item price
This medical marijuana and recreational marijuana seller is located amongst nondescript, low-slung warehouses in central California. According to Weedmaps, it has a wide variety of items, including flower, vape pens, edibles, concentrates, topicals and seeds for cultivation.
HHC Plus, Los Angeles, $20.36 average item price
Located near downtown L.A., this medical and recreational dispensary has been selling weed since 2006. This shop also has a wide selection of flower, as well as edibles, concentrates, vape pens, and some topical products.
Recreational weed use was legalized in Colorado back in 2012, so business has had a long time to develop throughout the state. Here are the cheapest shops.
Dispensary 7884, Antonito, $17.51 average item price
Located in a tiny town of less than 1,000 people near the New Mexico border, this shop is veteran-owned and operated. The dispensary opened relatively recently, and not much information is available online about its specific products, but it purports to have a “wide variety of high quality flower and concentrate.”
TweedLeaf Boulder, Boulder, $19.50 average item price
This store is part of a local chain that has locations all over the state, including the city of Denver and suburb Black Hawk. Unsurprisingly, prices seem to be lowest at its Boulder location. The 80303 zip code was overall the cheapest for the state, and that’s in Boulder, near the University of Colorado campus.
Green Sativa, Federal Heights, $19.62 average item price
This store, about 10 miles north of Denver, serves both medical and recreational needs. The most popular products are strawberry enhanced gummies, 3.5g of Jack Herer green sativa, Lilac Diesel hybrid in a 14g pre-pack, a green sativa pre-roll called Red Headed Stranger, and a 0.5g distillate cartridge.
This is one of the newer states to legalize pot, and the prices here are the highest in the nation. The challenge has been with licensing vendors to ensure there are enough to meet high demand.
Zen Leaf, Aurora, $54.56 average item price
Zen Leaf is a national chain that started in Las Vegas and has expanded operations to nine states. The store offers an assortment of flower, concentrate and edible products.
EarthMed, Rosemont, $54.91 average item price
This shop, also located in the Chicago area, is part of a local chain. Along with an assortment of flower, edible and concentrated products, they have a unique house-blend drop that combines cannabis with caffeine and more.
Zen Leaf, Naperville, $55.42 average item price
This is another branch of the national retailer, located on the outskirts of the Chicago metro area near Aurora. According to Weedmaps, this location offers flower and concentrates.
Voters legalized recreational pot in 2016. The state has been in business for a year now, and it’s also seen a wellspring of infrastructure activity: 58 stores, 26 manufacturing facilities, 50 cultivation sites and three testing labs. Dispensaries are still limited, though, and that impacts price.
Limited Edition Farm, Solon, $33.75 average item price
Solon, a town in central Maine, has fewer than 1,100 people, but this shop still provides a selection of both flower and concentrates, according to Weedmaps. Reviewers on the site describe the dispensary as a “hidden gem” with friendly staff and high-quality products.
Selective, South Portland, $42.50 average item price
This family-owned business offers both pick-up and delivery services, and sells flower, concentrates and edibles.
JAR Cannabis, South Portland, $45.64 average item price
This vertically integrated vendor boasts a selection of flower, edibles, vape pens, concentrates and topicals. If drinks are your thing, JAR also offers an infused cola and a seasonally-appropriate infused apple cider.
Pot is plentiful throughout Boston and the suburbs, even the ritziest of them. Business is growing but state’s vendors are facing big obstacles. Those include issues of supply, restrictive zoning measures and caps on licenses. Here are the cheapest options:
Verilife, Shrewsbury, $30 average item price
This shop, part of a chain that operates in several states, has some tech-savvy up its sleeve. The website provides a sophisticated portal, designed to help steer pot newbies to the right products. The Shrewsbury location has edibles and concentrates.
In Good Health, Brockton, $40 average item price
This shop is part of a chain with two locations in the state, including this Boston-area shop and one in the town of Sandwich, on Cape Cod. This location offers both flower and concentrates.
Sanctuary, Brookline, $43 average item price
This vendor has a number of stores all over Massachusetts and Florida, though Florida only allows medical marijuana use. There are about 200 different marijuana products available through the web site.
The industry is blooming in Michigan, which legalized recreational weed in 2018. Since April of 2021, the state has recorded $100 million in weed revenue each month, with total sales projected to top a billion dollars. Here are the least expensive options.
Alluvion Cannabis Company, Big Rapids, $26.31 average item price
The founders operate a dispensary in Rhode Island and set out to expand to Michigan. The pandemic struck; plans went forward anyway. The shop, located about a three hour drive from Detroit, sells both recreational and medicinal products. Flower, edibles, concentrates, and oils are all available.
Diamond Cannabis, Bay City, $29.16 average item price
This small vendor is about two hours north of Detroit, and offers a spectrum of weed products, including caramels and chocolates, vape cartridges and packs of eighth-ounce pre-rolled joints.
Oz Cannabis, Bay City, $31.56 average item price
This local chain has stores all over the state. The Bay City location was cheapest in our dataset. The company offers in-store pick-up, curbside pick-up and delivery services for addresses up to 30 miles away from the dispensary.
Oregon is another state well-known for its recreational weed industry. Payrolls are rapidly expanding, and tax revenue is flooding into state coffers. Distributors got another big win this fall when the state passed a bill that reduced delays in issuing licenses. Competition is also pushing down prices. Here are some of the lowest-priced shops.
Tokyo Starfish 3, South Bend, $12 average item price
This is a local chain with three locations in Bend, and another in Salem. National forests and mountain peaks surround these locations. The company has begun an endorsement program, and have begun, sensibly, with snowboarders.
K9 Chronic, Springfield, $17.50 average item price
None other than stoner-culture legend Tommy Chong endorses K9 on a YouTube video posted on the home page. Springfield is a quick drive from Eugene, home to the flagship campus of the University of Oregon system.
Way High 101, Coos Bay, $18 average item price
This shop describes itself as being located in a “cozy bungalow setting” near the Oregon coast. The dispensary is owned and operated by “friends that love marijuana,” according to Weedmaps. It has flower, edibles, topicals, concentrates and vape pens.
Business has also long been thriving in Washington. For the best deals on cannabis products, look to the communities just outside of Seattle. Here are the cheapest options.
Evergreen Market, Auburn, $15 average item price
This is a local chain found in a number of Seattle suburbs. The other locations are in Bellevue, Kirkland and Renton. This location has edibles, flower, concentrates, topicals and vape pens, according to Weedmaps.
Green Lady Marijuana, Lynnwood, $16 average item price
This local chain features pot happy hours when it opens and then again from 9 p.m. until closing, with store-wide discounts.
Green Lady Marijuana, East Olympia, $20.50 average item price
You don’t have to be near Seattle to find cheap weed in Washington. This location is just outside the state’s capital. On Google, it is described as an “unassuming shop carrying all things marijuana, from edibles and joints to vaporizers and pipes.”
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.