Marijuana is disproportionately expensive at Michigan dispensaries, study finds

click to enlarge Marijuana is disproportionately expensive at Michigan dispensaries, study finds
Steve Neavling

Cannabis dispensaries are convenient because they’re legal and offer a wide selection, but they’re often more expensive than your illicit drug dealer.

A new study by LeafLink, a wholesale marketplace for the cannabis industry, sheds some light on the costs of marijuana at legal dispensaries. Of the 10 states in the Wholesale Cannabis Pricing Guide, Michigan had some of the highest wholesale prices in 2019 for marijuana products, including flower, cartridges, and edibles.

Wholesale prices are what dispensaries pay for their products. On average, the pot shops set retail prices 64% higher to make a profit, according to LeafLink.

Prices are lowest in states with the most mature markets and product over-saturation, such as Oregon and Washington.


Michigan’s wholesale price for edibles — $0.79 for a milligram — was higher than the other nine states in the study: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington. Edibles also provided the lowest profit margins for Michigan dispensaries, LeafLink concluded.

On average, Michigan’s 160 dispensaries paid $2,917 for a pound of flower in 2019, compared to $1,304 for the average pound across the 10 states. Oregon had the lowest wholesale prices at $700 a pound. The highest wholesale prices were in Maryland at $3,260 a pound.

Concentrates in Michigan also were disproportionately expensive at $34.70 a gram. Only Alaska had a higher wholesale price for concentrates at $39.40. The average cost of a gram of concentrates across the 10 states was $18.80.

The LeafLink study found that cartridges were very popular in Michigan and provided the highest profit margin for dispensaries. The wholesale price for a one-gram cartridge in Michigan was $28.90, compared to $33.40 across the 10 states. Only California, Washington, and Oregon had lower wholesale prices for cartridges.

The wholesale prices in Michigan were primarily from medical cannabis, but recreational marijuana sales didn't become legal until December 2019.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
Scroll to read more Marijuana News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.