When I first started consuming cannabis in 1993 the price of cannabis was expensive. It was not uncommon for people to pay $400 an ounce in Oregon at the time, and my cousins in Idaho were paying significantly more than that. To be fair, that was for the best of the best, with brickweed costing a fraction of that price back then. Cannabis was very much illegal back then, and not nearly as many people grew it as they do today.
The price of cannabis remained high through the mid-2000’s in Oregon, but towards the end of last decade, prices started to drop. In this decade, prices on the unregulated market have straight up plummeted. I have heard of indoor pounds of decent cannabis going for as cheap as $310/lb in Oregon. Even prices for regulated cannabis has gone way down in Oregon, with prices being as cheap as $3/gram at a handful of dispensaries I have visited. The $3/gram isn’t anything to write home about, but it is decent (and lab tested).
Oregon is not the only state where cannabis prices are dropping significantly. According to a recent article by Madison.com, the average wholesale price of marijuana in Colorado has dropped from $2,000 in January 2015 to $1,300 today. An article from September in Forbes said that prices were down significantly in Washington State as well. It’s not exactly a secret why wholesale prices are dropping – there is more marijuana being grown than there are people to buy it.
No other state right now is a better example of the saturation of marijuana cultivation than Oregon. As of this posting, the state of Oregon has received 1,819 applications from businesses that want to cultivate marijuana, of which 874 have already been approved. I check the stats often, and every time I check them the number keeps climbing upward. To put it into perspective, Colorado currently has 707 licensed retail marijuana cultivators. Washington State has even less licensed growers than that, and both states have populations that are significantly larger than Oregon.
California is set to roll out adult-use marijuana licenses in 2018, but the way things are going to be structured, there will be no limit to marijuana production licenses. Local municipalities can put regulations in place to limit the amount of marijuana grows in their jurisdiction (or ban them altogether), but no such caps will be put in place by the state of California at this time. The amount of cannabis that is going to be grown in America’s most populous state is going to be insane, especially during the outdoor season.