The cost of gas, groceries, and a night out on the town might be rising, but recent data shows that cannabis prices are actually decreasing or leveling out.
The data, compiled by Headset and outlined by CNN, tracked cannabis sales in legal states like California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, and more. It showed that prices of marijuana flower, vapes, and edibles declined by 16.7%, 11.8%, and 12.4%, respectively, from January 2021 to January 2022.
While this drop might suggest the cannabis industry is exempt from inflation and the impact of the pandemic, experts say this isn’t the case. “Inflation is obvious when all else is equal,” said Andrew Livingston of national cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg.
Since the cannabis industry is a nascent business, it’s not as established as others that have been around for decades, with the effects of inflation being easier to disguise when talking about prices. The cannabis industry is directly impacted by the local demands and state-level supply, determining prices and whether or not people will purchase products.
A variety of cannabis workers and business owners said the pandemic forced them to be smart with the products they order and notice the trends of their shoppers. They also didn’t have the luxury of raising prices just because cannabis products were now more difficult to make an order.
“Even as an equity business owner that made an effort to have my store in my community in South Central Los Angeles, where you’re looking at how inflation affects the disproportionately impacted communities and the disenfranchised, I can’t even say to my customers, ‘Inflation and the supply chain is causing me to have higher prices, so work with me,’” said Kika Keith, owner of Gorilla Rx Wellness Co., the first Black, woman-owned dispensary in L.A.
Another factor that could be influencing the leveling out of cannabis prices is the fact that the industry is finding its footing, and there are more dispensaries available, with supply and demand finally getting on a similar level.