The news of the spring out of Oregon has been the plummeting of wholesale cannabis prices. Since just October of last year, according to some reports, wholesale prices have dropped by 40 percent.
Oregon cannabis consumers do, indeed, have reason to celebrate — their dispensary visits are increasingly lighter on the wallet.
But on the consumer side, at least, the drop in prices does not fully correspond with the wholesale situation. And for now, at least, price deflation in Oregon revolves mostly around flower. Some categories, like edibles, have actually experienced elevated prices during the past year.
First, the flower situation. During January of 2017, the average gram of flower sold in an Oregon dispensary cost $8.75 according to cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics. A year later, this past January, the average gram was $6.61. And in April of this year, the average gram of flower in Oregon set back consumers $5.77. The drop during the past 16 months is 34 percent. And close to half of that price decline has occurred since January — the first four months of 2018 saw prices dip 13 percent in the Beaver State.
Meanwhile, for sake of comparison, a gram of flower in Colorado in January of 2017 was $5.87. This past March, the average gram of Colorado weed was $4.96. The drop? About 15 percent. Coloradans did not enjoy price drops during 2018 at all — the price for a gram in January was $4.91, so prices went up between January and March.
While retail flower prices have experienced steep declines in Oregon during the past year, the same does not hold true for all other cannabis categories. In January of 2017, for example, the average cost of an edible in Oregon was $13.71. But in April of this year, the average edible in Oregon reached $16.24, a rise of 18 percent since last year. That said, as with flower, edibles prices have dipped so far during 2018. In January, the average Oregon edible cost $17.32.
Concentrates in Oregon have dropped substantially since January of 2017, when the average price for a concentrates product was $37.03. By April of this year, that average had dropped to $29.08, a decline of 21 percent. But while flower prices in Oregon are falling at an upped pace so far during 2018, and edibles prices fell during this year as well, concentrates are rising. In January, the average concentrate sold for $27.81. But in April, it had risen to $29.08.
When viewed as a whole, cannabis prices overall in Oregon have not fallen dramatically since January of last year, when the average price of all products — from a gram of flower to a cartridge to a sack of THC-infused cookies — was $10.61. In April of this year, that average had dropped to $9.14, a fall of 14 percent.
As the busy summer season unfolds during this banner year for cannabis, price-pressures on flower will persist. Will prices in Oregon stabilize? Experience a rise, as demand spikes (sales during summer are always at their peak)? Is the market indeed over-saturated with flower, and will the floodwaters rise even more, further depressing flower prices? We will continue to closely review retail prices across the year. One thing is for sure: prices for cannabis products remain dynamic both between and within states.