Like most tourist destinations, the Las Vegas strip is home to its fair share of hustles, rip-offs, and scams. At local dispensaries, though, the wholesale price of weed is going down. But is Nevada’s new discount dank anything more than smoke and mirrors?
According to a new deep dive from Marijuana Business Daily, the average price of legal cannabis in Nevada dropped to $2,000 per pound at the beginning of 2020, down from as high as $2,800 just one year ago. As the local industry continues to see more large-scale growers come to market, operators have seen prices lower steadily, despite record tax revenue and strong demand.
“There’s huge demand for flower,” Trip Hoffman, chief operating officer of Body and Mind, a vertically-integrated Nevada cannabis business, told MJBizDaily.
But while there has been a recent influx of weed to Silver State dispensaries, industry insiders interviewed by MJBizDaily repeatedly noted that the wholesale and retail price for top shelf craft bud has remained high — at $3,000 a pound or more. Still, the state is now seeing significant increases in the amount of cheap mid-grade and low-grade flower available.
“Those who can produce desirable, shelf-grade cannabis… are selling out as fast as they can make it,” Chris Wren, vice president of operations at Nevada’s Planet 13, said.
Hand-trimmed, perfectly-manicured weed with desirable strain names and sky-high THC levels is still bringing in big bucks, but the current $3,000-a-pound price tag is still significantly lower than it was last year, when the same weed was fetching about $3,800 per turkey bag. Outside of quality shifts in the flower itself, local experts predict that the pricing changes could also be a result of muddied state regulations.
Last year, Nevada implemented a new set of pesticide tests to assure consumer safety, but those additional product screenings resulted in high costs for local cultivators. At Body and Mind, Hoffman said that the new tests resulted in a $200-300 bump in wholesale pricing.
According to one Nevada grower, the price drop is a direct result of a “flood” of mid and low quality bud, offsetting the state’s still-thriving craft weed market. So while Vegas tourists can now find cheaper pre-rolls and vape cartridges in Sin City, they’re not going to get the stickiest of the icky unless they’re paying top-shelf prices.
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