Ever since Oct. 1, 2015, Oregonians aged 21 and over have had the option of never sitting on a drug dealer's couch and making small talk ever again. That's because now we have classy storefronts where we can legally go and purchase the cannabis we want. We can know where it comes from, we can know how it will affect us, and we can be sure that it isn't part of the international drug trade.
Still, just because weed is legal, that doesn't mean the black market for marijuana is gone. In a post earlier this month, Pricenomics ranks the the price of cannabis in states where it is now legal, both from dispensaries and on the street. The good news is Oregon is definitely the cheapest place to buy legal weed. It is also the cheapest place to buy illegal weed.
"Almost everywhere, black market marijuana is less expensive than what is available legally,"Pricenomics notes. "Our analysis suggests the prices at those dispensaries will vary substantially, and they won't be low enough to keep American marijuana users from the black market."
But Pricenomics is talking about the cannabis business in a strictly financial sense. As anyone who's ever bought anything will tell you, price isn't the only consideration—especially not in artisanal, small-batch-loving Portland, where practically every neighborhood has a New Seasons.
There are so many benefits to buying weed at a dispensary. First, they have hours, unlike your dealer who is either super available or at Burning Man for the next month. Also, dispensaries have deals, a full menu that includes accurate percentages of THC and CBD for each strain and, best case scenario, a nice person behind the counter who will sell you a grinder and help you pick out those strains which best suit your needs.
Drug dealers just give you the weed.
Another benefit of buying your cannabis legally is that you can buy however much you want and then, when you run out, you can go back to the store and get more. Heck, you can go to a different store if you want and get something completely different. You can get pesticide-free weed. You can get weed grown outdoors. And you don't have to scrounge together $191 in cash and buy in bulk.
Also, some places take credit cards. And you never have to worry you're buying from an undercover cop and that you're about to go to jail.
So yeah, you can save 11 percent if you buy weed on the black market. But is it better? Definitely not.