How To Save Money On Cannabis (Without Buying Less): 6 Ways To Get High On A Budget | green state
Between supply chain issues and a global pandemic, it’s now hard to budget for weed. According to a report released last week by New Leaf Data Services, the average cannabis price in the United States is $1,497 per pound, and due to the lack of federal regulation, marijuana prices vary wildly depending on where you buy it.
For recreational users, buying less weed can be a big lifestyle change. For medical users, this could have serious health consequences.
So how do you save money on weed without buying less?
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Good news: we have answers.
We brainstormed a few ideas, did some research, and spoke to Alex Levine, Director of Development at Eaze, one of California’s largest legal cannabis companies. By merging all of these forces of knowledge, we’ve put together a comprehensive six-step guide to saving money on cannabis without compromising your stash bulk.
Here’s how to save money on weed in 2022:
1. Buy in bulk
This trick might give you the most bang for your buck.
Medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries often give consumers a price discount for purchasing larger quantities of cannabis. An ounce of cannabis flower, for example, will typically be 10-20% cheaper than the same amount of weed purchased in small quantities over time.
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Levine says the consumer isn’t the only one who benefits from wholesale purchases.
“Buying in bulk uses less packaging, so it’s a lot less material and there’s a lot less work that goes into it,” Levine told GreenState. “So from the dispensary’s perspective, there’s an incentive to encourage people to buy in bulk.”
Levine added that buying cannabis in bulk is also better for the environment because the minimal packaging creates less waste.
So between being better for the earth, better for your local dispensary, and better for your wallet, buying weed in bulk seems like a win-win situation to us.
Of course, if you want to buy in bulk, you will need to master the storage of cannabis for it to last. More on that later.
2. Sign up for dispensary newsletters and loyalty programs
You know that newsletter from your local dispensary that lands in your inbox every week? Start reading this.
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Regularly checking email and text notifications from your favorite dispensaries is one of the best ways to invest your time if you want to save big on weed. Since cannabis companies cannot access large-scale advertising opportunities in many markets, most dispensaries and cannabis delivery services rely entirely on these channels to alert customers of discounts and special offers at to come.
And if you’re part of a dispensary’s loyalty program, you can receive free or discounted products and other perks based on previous purchases.
3. Change the cannabis products you use
Spending too much on weed? You might get a better return on your investment by switching to a new method of consumption.
As most of us know, there’s more than one way to get weed into your system. You can smoke it, vape it, eat it in gummies or baked goods, etc., etc., etc. There are even topical THC and CBD creams that penetrate your skin.
With all of these options, it’s easy for shoppers to fall for the newest and trendiest product. As a general rule, however, Levine says, the less processed the product, the cheaper it will generally be.
“Dollar for dollar, gram for gram, the flower is usually the most profitable,” Levine said. “Every time a manufacturer makes edibles or vaping products, they have to extract it, so there’s extra labor involved and the materials cost more.”
It’s like grocery shopping instead of eating out: when you want to save money, buy the ingredients, not the meal.
4. Make your stash last
Remember what we said about buying in bulk? If you’re going to do this, you’ll need to know how to store your weed so it lasts longer. Otherwise, all that extra cannabis you’ve purchased will look and taste nasty by the time you get there.
Oxygen is the enemy of cannabis. To keep your weed fresh and flavorful, you’ll want to keep your stash somewhere where the air can’t find it.
Levine recommends storing your weed in an airtight container. Glass jars with airtight seals work well for this, and there are also vacuum sealed cannabis containers available to buy online.
You can learn more about how to store your hash here. In the meantime, here’s a little tip for cannabis storage: stop using plastic bags.
“Ziplock bags will make your weed taste pastic,” Levine said. “And even though they seem airtight, the material they are made of is porous. That’s why if you leave weed in a ziplock bag, you’ll start to smell weed around the house very quickly.
5. Grow your own weed (if you’re a pro)
Similar to growing vegetables in your garden, growing your own cannabis can be a great way to save money, but there’s a catch. This trick only works if you’re really, really good at it.
Cannabis is extremely difficult to grow, and even more difficult to grow in large quantities. This requires several additional expenses that many growers do not consider. For what most small growers will spend to keep their plants alive, you could probably buy double the amount of cannabis harvested from a local dispensary, and that’s assuming the plants produce at all.
First, there is the cost of time. Growing cannabis is an investment of several months. It can take 12-15 weeks for a cannabis clone to bud, and even longer if you start with seeds.
Then there is the cost of maintaining the plant. Only the nutrients and soil mix necessary to maintain a healthy cannabis plant will cost more than a small amount of cannabis flower at your local dispensary. You should also consider the electricity bills you will accrue from the grow room.
Levine said the good reason to start growing your own weed is to pick up a new hobby or try to create something new, not to save money.
“You would have to be a phenomenal grower to make it (growing cannabis) a way to save money,” Levine said. “Consistently good returns would guarantee a profit, but that’s unlikely. If you’re not a pro, the only reason I see for growing your own cannabis would be as a fun hobby or if there’s some unique strain you want to produce, but not to save money .
That said, if you’re a professional grower who regularly harvests cannabis flowers, smoking or making your own edibles from your own crop is, of course, a big money saver.
6. Dispensaries-shops located near other dispensaries
Since the cannabis market is not yet federally regulated, the price of cannabis varies widely depending on supply and demand, for both recreational and medical cannabis.
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In 2021, an Emeraude Magazine report showed that the cost of weed in Washington, DC, a city where recreational cannabis is legal but dispensaries are rare, was three times higher than in Oregon, a state where recreational cannabis is legal and where dispensaries are numerous.
Ok, so why isn’t everyone making a pilgrimage to Oregon to buy some weed?
Well, since cannabis is legal under federal law, transporting it across state lines is a crime, even if you’re simply transporting it from one state where it’s legal to another.
But cannabis prices are also affected by region. If you live in a rural area, try shopping at a dispensary that is close to other dispensaries in your state.
Competition drives prices down, so a dispensary in a city will generally keep its prices competitive with those around it, while the only dispensary 1,000 miles away is more likely to raise prices simply because he owns the local market.
Bottom Line: Just because you’re pinching pennies doesn’t mean you should always roll a smaller joint or give up on your nightly puff. In many cases, budgeting is about shopping smarter, not less.
Elissa Esher is a writer at GreenState. Her work has also appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Guardian, Brooklyn Paper, Religion Unplugged, and Iridescent Women. Send your requests and advice to [email protected]