How Much Do Dispensaries Pay Per Pound In 2023?

The cannabis industry has grown tremendously in recent years with the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in many states. For cannabis growers and sellers, an important question is how much dispensaries pay per pound of cannabis.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Dispensaries typically pay between $800 to $2500 per pound, depending on the quality, strain, and current market conditions. In this comprehensive 3,000 word guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about dispensary cannabis pricing.

We will look at the factors that influence prices per pound, pricing models and structures, geographic and regional price differences, pricing for various strains, fluctuations over time, and tips for growers to maximize their earnings per pound.

Pricing Factors and Models

When it comes to determining how much dispensaries pay per pound in 2023, there are several factors and models that come into play. These factors can vary depending on the region and the specific dispensary, but understanding them can give us insight into the pricing structure of the industry.


One of the primary factors that determine the price per pound is the quality of the cannabis being sold. Just like any other product, higher quality cannabis tends to command a higher price. This is because it often requires more care and attention to grow, resulting in a superior product.

Dispensaries that prioritize quality may be willing to pay a premium price for top-tier strains.

Strain Type

The type of strain being sold can also impact the price per pound. Some strains are more popular and sought after than others, leading to higher demand and potentially higher prices. Additionally, certain strains may have higher production costs or require more resources to grow, which can also influence pricing.

Market Supply and Demand

The basic principles of supply and demand also play a significant role in determining cannabis prices. If there is a limited supply of a particular strain or if it is in high demand, dispensaries may be willing to pay more per pound to secure it.

On the other hand, if there is an oversupply of a certain strain, prices may decrease as dispensaries compete to sell their inventory.

Geographic Location

The geographic location of a dispensary can greatly impact how much they pay per pound. Different regions have different costs of living, regulations, and taxes, which can all influence pricing. For example, dispensaries located in areas with high taxes or strict regulations may have to pay more for their inventory, leading to higher prices for consumers.

Business Model and Overhead

The business model and overhead costs of a dispensary can also affect the price per pound. Dispensaries with higher operating costs, such as rent, utilities, and employee salaries, may need to charge more for their products to cover these expenses.

On the other hand, dispensaries with lower overhead costs may be able to offer lower prices to their customers.

Regulations and Taxes

Lastly, regulations and taxes imposed by local and state governments can significantly impact pricing. Some regions have higher taxes on cannabis products, which can drive up the overall cost for dispensaries.

Additionally, compliance with regulations may require additional resources and expenses, which can also be reflected in the price per pound.

Regional Price Differences

When it comes to the price of cannabis, there are several factors that can influence the cost per pound at dispensaries. One of the most significant factors is the region in which the dispensary is located.

Regional price differences can vary greatly, and understanding these differences can give us insight into the market trends and dynamics.

West Coast vs. East Coast

The West Coast, particularly states like California, Oregon, and Washington, has long been known for its thriving cannabis industry. These states have a well-established market and a high level of competition among growers.

As a result, the price per pound in dispensaries on the West Coast tends to be lower compared to other regions. However, it’s important to note that prices can still vary within this region, with certain areas experiencing higher demand or unique market conditions.

On the other hand, the East Coast is still relatively new to the legal cannabis market. While states like Massachusetts, Michigan, and Illinois have legalized recreational use, the industry is still in its early stages.

As a result, the price per pound in dispensaries on the East Coast tends to be higher than on the West Coast. This is partly due to the limited supply and the costs associated with establishing and operating dispensaries in these emerging markets.

Recreational vs. Medical-Only States

Another factor that affects the price per pound in dispensaries is whether the state is recreational or medical-only. In recreational states, where both medical and recreational use are legal, the demand for cannabis tends to be higher, driving prices up.

In contrast, in medical-only states, the market is more restricted, and the demand may be lower, resulting in lower prices per pound.

Major Cannabis Production States: California, Oregon, Washington

States like California, Oregon, and Washington are major players in the cannabis industry. These states have a long history of cannabis cultivation and have developed robust production systems. As a result, the supply of cannabis in these states is often higher than the demand, leading to lower prices per pound in dispensaries.

Additionally, the presence of established networks and infrastructure in these states contributes to streamlined operations and lower costs for growers, which can be passed on to consumers.

Emerging Markets: Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois

Emerging markets, such as Michigan, Massachusetts, and Illinois, present unique dynamics in terms of cannabis pricing. These states have recently legalized recreational use and are experiencing a surge in demand as the market expands.

As a result, the price per pound in dispensaries in these states is often higher compared to established markets. However, as the industry matures and supply increases to meet demand, we can expect prices to stabilize and potentially decrease over time.

Understanding the regional price differences in the cannabis industry is crucial for both consumers and industry professionals. It allows consumers to make informed decisions about where to purchase their cannabis products and helps industry professionals identify potential market opportunities and challenges.

Pricing by Strain Type

When it comes to pricing cannabis at dispensaries, there are several factors that come into play. One of the main factors is the strain type. Different strains have different levels of demand and availability, which can affect their price per pound.

In 2023, dispensaries are expected to continue paying varying prices for different strains.


Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedating effects. These strains are often used for pain relief and sleep aid. In 2023, dispensaries may pay an average of $X per pound for Indica strains. However, prices may vary depending on the quality and popularity of the specific strain.


Sativa strains are known for their energizing and uplifting effects. These strains are often used for daytime use and can provide a creative and focused high. Dispensaries may pay an average of $X per pound for Sativa strains in 2023. Again, prices may vary depending on the specific strain.


Hybrid strains are a combination of Indica and Sativa strains, offering a mix of both relaxing and energizing effects. These strains can be tailored to specific needs and preferences. Dispensaries may pay an average of $X per pound for hybrid strains in 2023.

The price may vary based on the specific hybrid combination and its popularity.

High THC Strains

High THC strains are known for their potent psychoactive effects. These strains typically have a higher concentration of THC, the compound responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis. In 2023, dispensaries may pay an average of $X per pound for high THC strains.

The price may be influenced by the potency and demand for these strains.

High CBD Strains

High CBD strains are known for their therapeutic properties and minimal psychoactive effects. These strains have a higher concentration of CBD, a non-psychoactive compound that offers various health benefits. Dispensaries may pay an average of $X per pound for high CBD strains in 2023.

The price may be influenced by the demand for CBD products and the specific CBD to THC ratio.

Popular Strains: Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, OG Kush

Some strains have gained significant popularity among cannabis enthusiasts. Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, and OG Kush are among the most sought-after strains in the market. Dispensaries may pay a premium price for these popular strains, with prices ranging from $X to $X per pound in 2023.

These strains’ popularity and limited availability contribute to their higher price.

Fluctuations Over Time

Understanding the fluctuations in the prices that dispensaries pay per pound is crucial for both cannabis producers and consumers. These fluctuations can be influenced by various factors, including seasonal trends, multi-year trends and price cycles, the impact of oversupply and understock, as well as regulatory changes.

By keeping track of these fluctuations, industry professionals can make informed decisions and adapt their strategies accordingly.

Seasonal Trends

One significant factor that affects the price per pound in the cannabis industry is seasonal trends. Just like many agricultural crops, cannabis cultivation experiences seasonal variations in supply and demand.

During peak harvest seasons, when there is an abundant supply of cannabis, prices tend to decline. Conversely, during periods of low supply, such as during winter months, prices may increase due to the limited availability of fresh harvests.

It is essential for dispensaries to carefully monitor these seasonal trends to optimize their purchasing and pricing strategies.

Multi-Year Trends and Price Cycles

Looking at multi-year trends and price cycles can provide valuable insights into the fluctuations of prices per pound. Analyzing historical data can help identify patterns and predict future price movements. For example, there may be certain months or seasons when prices consistently spike or dip.

By understanding these trends, dispensaries can plan their inventory and purchasing decisions accordingly, ensuring they are well-prepared for price fluctuations.

Impact of Oversupply and Understock

Oversupply and understock situations can significantly impact the prices dispensaries pay per pound. When there is an oversupply of cannabis in the market, prices tend to decrease as producers compete to sell their products.

On the other hand, when there is an understock, prices can rise due to increased demand and limited supply. These imbalances in supply and demand can occur due to various factors, including changes in cultivation practices, regulatory changes, or unforeseen market forces.

Dispensaries need to stay vigilant and adapt their purchasing strategies to navigate these situations effectively.

Effect of Regulatory Changes

Regulatory changes can have a profound impact on the prices dispensaries pay per pound. As laws and regulations surrounding the cannabis industry evolve, they can directly influence the supply chain and market dynamics.

For example, the legalization of cannabis in new jurisdictions can lead to increased competition among producers, potentially driving prices down. Conversely, changes in licensing requirements or taxation policies can increase production costs, which may then be reflected in higher prices paid by dispensaries.

Staying up-to-date with the latest regulatory changes is essential for dispensaries to anticipate and respond to potential price fluctuations.

Maximizing Returns Per Pound

When it comes to running a successful cannabis business, maximizing returns per pound is crucial. By implementing strategic practices, dispensaries can ensure they are getting the most value out of each pound of cannabis they sell. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Growing High Quality Cannabis

One of the most important factors in maximizing returns per pound is growing high-quality cannabis. This starts with using the right growing techniques, such as maintaining proper lighting, temperature, and humidity levels.

Additionally, utilizing quality nutrients and genetics can significantly impact the final product. By producing top-notch cannabis, dispensaries can demand higher prices and attract more customers.

Choosing Profitable Strains

Another way to maximize returns per pound is by carefully selecting profitable strains. Different strains have varying levels of demand and market value. It’s essential for dispensaries to analyze market trends and customer preferences to determine which strains are most likely to sell at a premium price.

Investing in popular and sought-after strains can lead to increased profits.

Building Relationships With Dispensaries

Establishing strong relationships with dispensaries is vital for maximizing returns per pound. By building trust and rapport with dispensary owners, cultivators can secure long-term partnerships and consistent sales.

Developing a reputation for delivering high-quality cannabis consistently and on time will make dispensaries more likely to offer better prices and preferential treatment.

Negotiating Prices and Contracts

Dispensaries may have different pricing structures and contracts when purchasing cannabis from cultivators. Negotiating favorable prices and contracts can significantly impact the returns per pound. Dispensaries may be open to offering volume discounts or exclusive deals for regular suppliers.

By effectively negotiating with dispensaries, cultivators can secure better terms and higher profits.

Timing Harvests and Sales

The timing of harvests and sales can also impact the returns per pound. Understanding market demand and timing the release of cannabis products accordingly can help dispensaries command higher prices. Additionally, properly timing harvests to coincide with peak demand periods can ensure that the product is sold quickly, reducing the risk of inventory surplus.

By implementing these strategies, dispensaries can maximize their returns per pound and stay competitive in the ever-growing cannabis industry.


As the legal cannabis industry matures, pricing per pound will likely stabilize but continue to vary based on market forces of supply and demand. By consistently producing high quality crops, choosing in-demand strains, understanding price fluctuations, and building strong dispensary relationships, growers can maximize the price they get per pound.

Though national average prices per pound range from $800-$2,500, savvy growers can sometimes earn over $3,000 per pound by following best practices. Keep an eye on market trends and don’t be afraid to negotiate for better contracts.

With the right strategies, cannabis can be a profitable crop for enterprising growers.

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