18 states in total have now legalized recreational cannabis use in the United States. Connecticut, New Mexico, Virginia, and New York all voted legalize recreational cannabis in 2021! As of January 1st 2022, cannabis sales have also started in Montana, who voted in 2020 to legalize cannabis. New Jersey is slated to open dispensary doors later this year, also having voted for it in 2020.
With more states legalizing cannabis each year, it begs the question; where can you find the cheapest legal weed in the United States? And more specifically, where can you find the cheapest pre-rolls?
There are many different factors that come into play when companies price recreational cannabis, and the market functions mostly based on regional economics. The local wholesale cost of flower, state-by-state regulatory constraints, market maturity, manpower, and local cost of power, water, and space all vary greatly and add up to what turns into the retail price of a pre-rolled joint or blunt at your local dispensary.
It's because of all of these factors that the cost of pre-roll products across the nation can be seen as a sort of bellwether for how recreational markets are progressing at different rates.
Logically, one could assume that the longer a recreational market has been around, the lower the cost of a pre-roll would be, because mature markets have growers, distributors, and retailers that have had longer to find what works, what is most efficient, and what is most profitable. Additionally, mature markets most likely have more producers, making competition higher and further driving prices down.
But what does the data say?
We dug into data from online catalog sites such as Leafly and Weedmaps, as well as from dispensaries themselves to find you the cheapest pre-roll in each state. This does, of course, exclude data from states that have not yet opened sales of recreational cannabis.
*please note that the prices listed are accurate at the time of publication according to online menu data.
Alaska - est. 2014
Cheapest 1g Pre-Roll in Alaska: $10 - 1g Pre-Roll from Arctic Earth at The Green Room AK in Anchorage.
Cheapest Infused Pre-Roll in Alaska: $18 - .5g Infused Pre-Roll from Great Northern Cannabis at their dispensary in Anchorage.
Arizona - est. 2020
Cheapest Pre-Roll/Cheapest 1g Pre-Roll in Arizona: $7 - 1g The REM Pre-Roll by Nature's Medicinesat their dispensary in Phoenix.
California - est. 2018
Cheapest Infused Pre-Roll in California: $7.50 - .5g Littles Flaves Infused Pre-Rolls at The Boulevard Dispensary in Lemon Grove.
Colorado - est. 2012
Cheapest Pre-Roll in Colorado: $4 -.5g Pre-Roll from Native Roots at their dispensaries across Colorado.
Cheapest 1g Pre-Roll in Colorado: $7.50 - 1g Pre-Roll from Native Roots at their dispensaries across Colorado.
Cheapest Pre-Roll Multi-Pack in Colorado: $18 - 5x.25g Shortys by Native Roots at their dispensaries across Colorado.
Illinois - est. 2019
Cheapest Pre-Roll Multi-Pack in Illinois: $28 -3x.5g Pre-Roll Pack by Ozone at Ascend by MOCA in Chicago.
Maine - est. 2016
Cheapest Pre-Roll/Cheapest 1g Pre-Roll in Maine: $6 - 1g Pre-Roll by Above and Beyond at their dispensary in Bangor.
Cheapest Infused Pre-Roll in Maine: $10 - 1.5g Infused Pre-Roll by FOG Products available through their delivery service in Bangor.
Massachusetts - est. 2016
Cheapest Pre-Roll Multi-Pack: $25 - 5x.5g Pre-Roll Pack from Theory Wellness at their dispensaries across Massachusetts.
Michigan - est. 2018
Cheapest Pre-Roll in Michigan: $5 - .5g Pre-Roll by Aquaponic Gardens of Utah at Utopia Gardens in Detroit.
Montana - est. 2020
Cheapest Pre-Roll/Cheapest 1g Pre-Roll in Montana:$16 - 1g Pre-Roll by Mountain Organics through their delivery service in Billings.
Nevada - est. 2016
Cheapest 1g Pre-Roll in Nevada: $13 - 1g Pre-Roll by Kannabis at The Grove in Las Vegas.
Cheapest Pre-Roll Multi-Pack in Nevada: $28 - 5x.5g Pre-Roll Pack by Verano at Essence Dispensary in Las Vegas.
Oregon - est. 2014
Cheapest 1g Pre-Roll in Oregon: $5 - 1g Pre-Roll by Meraki Gardens at The Herb Center in Bend.
Cheapest Pre-Roll Multi-Pack in Oregon: $25 - 5x.5g Infused Pre-Roll Pack from Winberry Farms at The Herb Center in Bend.
Washington - est. 2012
Which State Has the Cheapest Pre-Roll?
Washington takes the cake with a $1.50 full-gram pre-roll by Wildfire.
These pre-rolls are available in a variety of strains in indica, sativa, and hybrid varieties. The flower is packed in a refined white paper pre-roll cone and stored in a classic clear pop-top tube.
Which State Has the Cheapest Infused Pre-Roll?
Oregon has the cheapest infused pre-roll, with a $4.17 price tag on a full-gram infused pre-roll by Avitas.
These pre-rolls are infused with premium live resin and are stored in a child-resistant glass pre-roll tube.
Which State has the Cheapest Pre-Roll Multi-Pack?
Washington has the cheapest pre-roll multi-pack with a $6 four-pack of half-gram joints from Flight 9 Cannabis Co.
Why is the Cheapest Weed on the West Coast?
Based on the data we found, the cheapest pre-rolls are found on the West Coast, where the cannabis industry has had longer to mature, practices are being streamlined, and there are more producers to compete with each other.
Washington was one of the very first states to legalize recreational cannabis, voting to legalize it all the way back in 2012, along with Colorado. Dispensaries in Washington first opened their doors in July 2014, meaning the market has had eight years of cannabis sales, compared to much newer states like Arizona and Montana.
Oregon wasn't far behind, voting to legalize in 2014 and allowing the sale of recreational cannabis from already-existing medical dispensaries to start in October2015. Licenses for solely recreational cannabis retailers were issued in October 2016.
Taxes also pay a huge part in the shelf price of cannabis products, but they don't fully explain the price differences. Oregon taxes their cannabis at 17%, California and Colorado tax at 15%, Nevada taxes retail cannabis at 10%, and Washington taxes cannabis at a whopping 37%. So how does Washington still manage to maintain some of the cheapest cannabis in the country with one of the most expensive cannabis taxes in the country?
Some, such as news site The Stranger, attribute Washington's unique cannabis industry structure for their low prices. Washington is one of the only states that doesn't allow recreational cannabis companies to sell directly to consumers - a cannabis grower cannot also run a dispensary in Washington. Farms must sell their products to dispensaries, who can then sell to consumers. With significantly more farm licenses than retail licenses, it forces farms and producers to competein order to get their products on the shelf, driving the price competitively down with the retailers' ability to push back and find cheaper options.
Places experiencing severe drought, like California and Nevada, are going to have higher prices in part due to the expense of growing the plants. Water prices are significantly higher in drought-ridden places than in the rainy PNW, as well as the land and space needed to cultivate and produce cannabis products. In addition, the more tourist-driven locations are more likely to charge more because tourists are often more inclined to pay premium prices while on vacation.
If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck when buying cannabis, the West Coast is going to be the best place to shop. Washington and Oregon are two of the cheapest states to buy cannabis, and are conveniently located across the Columbia River from each other.
It is important to keep in mind that it is illegal to take cannabis over state lines. Cannabis cultivated and sold in Oregon is illegal in Washington, and vice versa. This may change once federal legalization hits the States, but it is important to know for now.
As more states legalize recreational cannabis and more markets have the opportunity to mature, it is likely to see a decent price drop in the coming years for East Coast cannabis products and pre-rolls.
Taxes, market maturity, resource cost, and number of growers all play as factors when it comes to the retail shelf price of cannabis products across the United States.