We're always curious about everyday patterns or odd markets that aren't necessarily easy to get a handle on. So we had to exclaim, "Dude!" when we recently came across a new site called Price of Weed.
Yep. It's exactly what it sounds like. The site touts itself as "a global price index for marijuana." It relies on user submitted prices to compile a price index, broken down by state and quality. For example, here's the index for New York State. Here's an article about the anonymous creators.
The site includes reports by town. So, naturally, for journalistic purposes, we were immediately curious about prices in the Capital Region and how they compared to other parts of the state.
So we rolled the numbers.
Before we dive in: You better believe there are a heck of a lot caveats to all this. We pulled the data listed for New York State for the past month. We kicked out reports that seemed obviously false/wrong (10 grams for $20 in Oneonta? Right.) -- the creators of the site have done something similar for their calculations (they used standard deviation to identify outliers, which is better). We also didn't break the numbers down by quality (the site creators do this, which is better). We prorated the prices, so this probably skews things a bit (do you save when you buy in bulk?). The sample sizes in some cases are very small. We coded the regions ourselves, not by some established definition. Also, all this is based on anonymous crowd-source data. So who knows if it's actually correct. Also, marijuana is illegal.
The site calculates these are the statewide averages, as of today:
High Quality - $445.78
Medium Quality - $312.25
Low Quality - $173.51
A few thoughts:
+ It's not surprising that NYC has the highest prices. There are a lot of people (and thus demand), but we're guessing not a lot of the stuff is grown there. Also, there are probably a lot of customers who can afford to pay a lot -- and probably aren't interested in shopping around.
+ It's also probably not too surprising to see that the Souther Tier and Western New York are the cheapest. There's less population. The people there don't have a bunch of money. And there's ample space for crops (though we're guessing a lot of the product is grown out of state).
+ If these numbers are anywhere close to being accurate, it gives you a sense of how much money is involved in this underground market.
+ Also, think about how hard it is to eradicate a market where the product sells for more than $300 an ounce. No matter how many people you bust, it would seem there will always be someone ready to take a chance to fill the void.
All numbers based on data from Price of Weed.
Earlier on AOA:
+ Poll: Upstaters favor medical marijuana
+ Poll: New Yorkers favor medical marijuana
+ In 2009, we did some hazy math and figured the state could generate about $230 million per year by taxing pot.
+ What's the price of a little extra style?
photo: Wikipedia user HighinBC
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