9 Years of Cannabis Wholesale Price History
April 25, 2024

This month marks the ninth anniversary of the launch of the Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Spot Index, the first and only index aggregating and tracking wholesale cannabis prices at the national level. First assessed the week ending 4/24/2015, the U.S. Spot Index is the volume weighted average price of wholesale cannabis flower in $ per pound. Initially composed of wholesale cannabis prices from Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California, the index is now composed of wholesale cannabis prices from twenty-two markets.

The U.S. Spot Index was initially assessed on 4/24/2015 at $1,700 per pound and reflects the greater price volatility and fluctuations occurring in the wholesale cannabis market during 2015 and 2016. The Index was assessed at $1,013 per pound on 4/19/2024, a decline of $687, or 40%, since inception nine years ago.

9 year history of the Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Wholesale Cannabis Spot Index

Like most commodity markets, the wholesale price of cannabis has declined over time as the industry has matured and the marginal cost of production has declined with efficiency and scale. A multitude of factors drive wholesale price movement beyond normal supply-demand balance, including periodic price distortions from abrupt changes in supply – such as new production capacity or the quarantining of large volumes – to changes in the cost of regulatory compliance – such as laboratory fees paid to meet increasingly stringent quality and health standards. A significant driver of price change in most years has been seasonal variations due to outdoor sungrown supplies reaching the market after each harvest, with prices often rising in late summer into September and decreasing towards the end of the year. Though this pattern is not always consistent, the low price for the year often occurs in the October-November period.

Since the end of 2017, the Index peaked at $1,665 per pound on 10/30/2020 during the height of Covid-19. Higher prices were also supported by more adult-use markets coming online, with many initially restricted to higher-cost, and therefore higher-priced, indoor cultivation. As shown in the table below, the general trend over the past nine years is one of declining prices. However, the last two years have shown increased price stability with the Index hovering near the historical low price of $936 per pound reached on 9/15/2023.

8 full years of U.S. Wholesale Cannabis Spot Index  Performance

Also evident is the reduced volatility of an expanding and maturing national market, with a narrowing range of price movement compared to earlier years.

Cannabis Benchmarks has over 130 weekly wholesale data price streams, covering granular prices by cultivation method across 22 markets. In addition, we analyze state-level prices of trim, and bulk flower vs. prepackaged flower, with plans to provide extract/concentrate pricing in the months ahead. We also offer custom analytics and bespoke data solutions.

We sincerely thank all of our readers, contributors, advisors, and team for their support since the beginning of this journey. We look forward to continuing to provide our weekly price assessments and analysis to you all.

The U.S. Wholesale Cannabis Spot Index reports are available to everyone, every week. If you need more detailed information, please consider our CORE and PREMIUM services. If you have any questions or additional data needs, please contact us and we’ll help you find the information that you need.