Governor-elect Phil Murphy’s vision for New Jersey includes weed, and lots of it.
The Democrat has promised to legalize recreational use for people age 21 and older within the first 100 days of his administration. And if he and the state Legislature play their cards right, the price of pot could plunge, according to historical price data and national experts.
But the path to cheaper weed prices is unlikely to be straight and narrow.
“New Jersey may fall into the camp of states with a strict market,” said Adam Orens, co-founder of Marijuana Policy Group. “And with strict markets, prices can be an issue.”
Marijuana remains illegal in most states, and that means collecting reliable information on prices and price changes can be difficult. The best sources currently rely on crowdsourcing – people who buy and sell marijuana on the black market, reporting their own prices.
According to Priceofweed.com, which has collected tens of thousands of user submissions from across the country, the highest-quality illegal marijuana in New Jersey currently costs $345 an ounce, while medium quality costs $299.
In comparison, in Colorado, which legalized recreational use in 2014, dispensaries charge an average of $242 for a high-quality ounce, according to the website. Specials and member deals can push the price as low as $99.
“In an illegal market, the risk involved drives up the price,” Orens said. “Here (in Colorado), prices have declined nearly every month.”
Like any good on the market, a lot of factors can affect prices, but they will generally be driven by the basic principles of supply and demand: How much legal weed will be grown and available in New Jersey, how many stores can sell it, and how many people want it?
There’s little doubt demand will be strong, so whether the price plunges in New Jersey