‘At a tipping point’: Why Missouri medical marijuana prices are dropping
When Fresh Green, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Kansas City area, opened in October, one eighth of an ounce of flower cost $60. Nearly 10 months later, the same product can go for as low as $40.
Prices for medical marijuana have been dropping across Missouri as more manufacturers, cultivators and dispensaries open. As the market continues to grow, those in the industry say to expect the cost of cannabis to continue decreasing.
Missouri residents voted to legalize medical cannabis in 2018. Since then, the state has licensed 193 dispensaries, 59 cultivators and 86 manufacturers, though not all are in operation yet. But as the industry began to find its footing, scarcity of product begot higher prices.
“Certainly, we knew when stores opened here at the very beginning the prices were going to be higher, the selection was going to be more limited,” said Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association. “But with each coming week, we see those trends reversing.”
Along with lower costs, consumers have access to more products than before. When dispensaries in the area first opened, they sold only flower. Now, they stock a variety of items, including edibles and cartridges.
Clovr was the first manufacturer up and running in Missouri. Since its opening, more efficient processes, more cultivators and more competition have all contributed to lower prices.
“When you’re the only gummy, you’re able to kind of hope that you set the correct price,” said Bethanie White, director of marketing for Clovr. “But as more competitors come in and their gummies are two or three dollars less than yours, you have to take a step back and say, ‘OK, are we with the market, or where we should be with the market?’ keeping costs and everything else in mind.”
Cardetti estimates prices on some products are 25% lower than when dispensaries first opened, but some haven’t noticed much of a change just yet.
“I can’t say that I’ve seen drastic drops yet, but I think it’s at the tipping point where we’re starting to get enough supply and product around the state that it’s looking good for everybody that it’s going to normalize pretty soon,” said Cari Tornatta, community engagement administrator for Third Street Dispensary. “I think everybody was like, ‘Man, we’d love to see some better prices.’”
Even without big jumps, customers have begun to notice they’re getting more marijuana for their money.
“(Patients) are happy that they’re not paying $65 for an eighth. They’re happy that they’re getting good quality cannabis at a price point that is not too far outside the realm of mature markets like Colorado,” said Corey Martin, director of communications for Kansas City Cannabis. “. . . It just makes sense all around for the business and the patient to have fair prices.”
Those prices should continue to decrease as more facilities come into the picture, trickling down from the cultivators to the consumers.
“Just making an affordable product for the patient is always going to be the end goal,” White said.
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