Legal Marijuana Should Cost $4.44 A Pound

I ran across the name John Novak this morning, and saw that he ran a site with the intriguing name of 420 Leaks, so I decided to look it up. Mr. Novak seems to be a lot like me in that he loves to pore through old information and records, finding fascinating tidbits that are useful for medical and legal arguments supporting cannabis.

So I started reading through some of his recent articles, and found this great article about the pre-1937 medicinal cannabis market. It quotes a U.S. Department of Agriculture farmer’s bulletin which gives some great hints for growing cannabis plants on a farm, describes how to properly process them for use in the drug market (!), and concludes with the fact that “The market price in January, 1927, for domestic cannabis (U.S.P.) was 23 to 33 cents a pound”. This was the fair, open market price before all the “reefer madness” hysteria we all know so well, so it’s untainted by ideology.

So I said to myself, “Something something inflation” and used the Federal government’s own inflation calculator to find that, at 33 cents a pound, primo cannabis intended for the “drug market” would cost $4.44 a pound today:

1927 inflation Legal Marijuana Should Cost $4.44 A Pound

I’ve been saying for years that legal marijuana should cost about as much as oregano, and so there goes your proof.

By the way, Mr. Novak, if you read this, please check out some of our own historical articles:

Why Smoke 468x60 Legal Marijuana Should Cost $4.44 A Pound

http://gplus.to/OldHippie Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. BeyondChronic.com is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.

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14 Comments

  1. Jack Xin said:

    I guess you could charge that much for outdoor grown weed, but what about indoor grown marijuana in treated soil that is lighted by a lamp specifically designed for marijuana? The market could pay for lesser quality outdoor but they also have the choice of higher quality indoor grown under very controlled setting and all they would have to do is take into account electricity, equipment, rent for overhead, laborers, licensing fees, taxes, clerks, a retail store’s furnishings, and management. All of a sudden, $4.44 even for an average bag of weed doesn’t seem so possible.

    • M. C. said:

      Actually, the best results for Marijuana growth are achieved outside, the sun is the best grow light in existence. That being said, you are right that the price for The primo stuff after cutting out male plants to ensure good plant quality of the females there’d be some major changes in price… but all things considered it’d not be much harder to get product.

      You’d be looking at prices (purely speculation) in the range of $5-7 a lb for seedy, but decent, mid grade and anywhere from $10-15 a pound for seedless dank. You might get near $20 if the stuff is absolutely chronic.

      So asking for a $5 eighth of dank is not all that far off really, it’s actually kinda a ripoff in that scenario.

    • Ethan Vandal said:

      I love it when people who know nothing about everything put their two cents in because they can’t just keep their erroneous thoughts to themselves.

      Outdoor grown is the best because the cannabis plant has evolved for thousands, maybe millions of years by adapting to the conditions that nature provides. You could never exactly replicate the outdoor growing environment, however you could come close enough that the plants you produce would fool most people who don’t know any better.

      The reason indoor grows are more popular is because the perceived taboo introduced by the reefer madness movies that has tainted pot’s good name. Yes, effectively indoor costs more money to produce. Yes, that drives the price up. However that inflation calculator does not accurately reflect the operational costs associated with growing marijuana commercially for profit because that is still prohibited by the federal government and many prohibitive costs bring the price way up. When it becomes legal to produce federally on a mass scale like alcohol the price will drop hundreds of percents.

      When this happens let me know so I can fire up my Co-Op again.

      • Anonymous said:

        I have spoken with some really injured people, who have grown the same strains of cannabis indoors and out, and they say that cannabis grown outdoors, FULL SEASON, has about 1 and 1/2 times the medicinal value as stuff grown indoors.
        An Italian agronomist who works with people who grow hothouse tomatoes and outdoor tomatoes says that is because (1) no artificial lights duplicate the full spectrum of outdoor light, and (2) a plant needs its full, natural growing season to develop all the compounds it contains when it is “ripe.”
        I heard D.J. Short speak, and he said that the best cannabis he ever had was Acapulco Gold that was shipped into the US in three shipments. He said that the last shipment was mainly dust, stems and seeds, and it was better than the earlier two shipments. He said that seeded cannabis is actually better than “sinsemilla,” a point with which my injured friend agreed. My friend would go to dispensaries and LOOK for seeds, and tried to buy only seeded cannabis.
        The people who are trying to persuade people that cannabis grown outdoors is “dirty” and not good for you are lying weasels, looking for reasons to keep the price up..

    • Uli said:

      In 1927 people smoked weed, that was full of seeds, stems etc which capped at 6 – 7 % THC, but im sure nowday its possible to sell Joints in the same way like Cigarettes, since production and selling works the same. So i think it can go incredible cheap, but not as cheap as in the article. Including taxes, like on tobacco, it could be like $7 for a pack of 20 mid qualitiy joints, and i would be fine with that.

    • John Novak said:

      This is a reply to the article’s author, “Old Hippie”, not the comment here. Although, I will say that Jack Xin needs to keep an open mind about outdoor grown cannabis. If you use the really kick ass stabilized strains that the indoor market now uses, in the hands of a good grower, the results are amazing and will blow you away.

      Old Hippie…Thanks for the credit! I was amazed to find that farm bulletin describing how to grow cannabis for drugs instead of for industrial hemp. I’ve always heard that we never figured this out here in the west until the 70s. Obviously that myth is busted. And the price sounds good to me! I was going to try and figure out what the prices would be in todays terms, so thanks for doing the homework for me! Great articles on this site, BTW. SAVED

  2. JosephConLupus said:

    One of the largest, if not the biggest reasons for legalization is the huge profits that would be reaped in by taxation of the plant. While it is completely possible that prices for Cannabis could be as low as four dollars a pound, I surely hope they won’t be (even though i’d have a field day with all that bud). After all Cannabis is a plant, plants generally do not cost much in a free market because of the ease at which they are grown, but at the time being Marijuana still has its foot in the black market which causes prices to rise. If we are to ever see legalization and the birth of an industry that could have huge economic benefits for the entire country we must regulate it, regulate, and regulate it some more.

    • dk said:

      Unfortunately, regulation and taxation had to be the carrot to win over the holdouts. Those of us who know about Marijuana first hand, know that none of that is necessary. But, once you start waving those dollars around, even the unmovable people will begin to take notice. So, we do what we have to in order to make her legal. Once everyone sees that she isn’t the wicked old woman she’s been made out to be, little by little, Mary Jane will be welcome all over the world. And, if they try to make her too expensive, there’s always that competitor down on the block.

  3. Joe Hill said:

    …which is why some black market growers have no interest in legalized MJ. But here in WA state, we’ll soon see in a microcosm how this plays out..

  4. Kym Kemp said:

    Have you ever manicured a pound of marijuana? A good trimmer can do a good pound in a couple hours. But even if you only pay this skilled trimmer $10 per hour that alone will add $20 to $30 to the price. People’s tastes have evolved beyond that in 1927. They want no seeds, no stems, and only the resin covered leaves.

    • andy said:

      I don’t see why it would add too much to the price. Stems and seeds are removed from cotton and tabacco before they can be used. I’m assuming that there are probably existing machines that could be re-purposed for this. Cotton goes for around 65 cents a pound and tobacco has been under $2 a pound since the mid 90s

  5. Karl said:

    That calculator is bogus. I remember my folks griping at each other about wages in 1933, my Dad was a linotype operator at the Minneapolis Tribune making 33 cents an hour, and my Mom a registered nurse thought she should have made more than the 25 cents a day. Anyhow, in the book Marijuana Chemistry, by Michael Starks, he says that outdoor pot can be produced in 1990 for $20 a kilo. And he claims that pot containing 1.1% THC is really good pot.
    Back to the calculator, those are the same guys that calculate we are in an economic recovery and so forth. Really the calculator doesn’t include the compound interest on the inflation, and that back in the 60’s when they were figuring out the CPI, they used sirloin steak as a price marker whereas now they use the price of the lowest grade ground beef as a marker. Minimum wage should be $30, and average income closer to $160K instead of $50K, and then they wonder why we smoke pot… it is the only way we can stand to watch another TV program.

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