With legal cannabis medicine prices stabilizing in Oklahoma dispensaries, the black market dealers are seeing the 'writing on the wall'.
In states where patients have to turn to the cartels for cannabis medicine, the prices are commonly over $300 per ounce for medium/high quality raw dried flower buds.
But the legal dispensaries which have been opening all over the Sooner State, prices and supply have created market conditions which allow licensed patients to safely and legally attain tested cannabis medicine at prices of around $200-300 per ounce.
At this rate it makes little sense for a patient not to get a medical consultation and pay the $100 for a medical license. It's almost like getting a Sam's Club card. You pay a membership fee up front, but you expect to recoup that expense through lower priced products. It's as though the state created a "Sam's Club" for naturopathic medicines.
Last December, the wholesale prices for legal cannabis was over $300 per ounce. Now it is half that.
Price of Weed is a website that has served the black market purchasers of dried whole marijuana flower. Individuals have anonymously posted what they paid in any municipality, and comment on the quality of what they acquired.
The national maps at the website clearly indicate that the west coast states have market conditions far below the national averages.
Will the black market cartels be completely eliminated?
Sadly, no. But that's more to do with overtaxing products. We see that with tobacco products. The high tax rates are leading to the creation of black markets.
The same is true with cannabis medicines. Let's underscore the point that it is essentially a homeopathic medicine which is so safe that people can enjoy it as an 'off label' or casual substance of relaxation.
When SQ797 was being circulated last summer, the language of the proposed constitutional amendment stipulated a 20% state tax. That ill-advised policy would have institutionalized a perpetual black market. When a doctor directs (or recommends) treatment, patients typically don't pay any tax on the medicines. But the govt. has a strong incentive to shame the citizens for their behavior. It allows them to justify sin taxes on personal lifestyle choices. That may have worked with tobacco & liquor, because those substances do, in fact, lead to extensive medical costs which eventually fall on taxpayers through our public health institutions and medical emergency response costs.