Consumers in Alaska are willing to pay higher prices for more potent cannabis, but that trend could threaten to bankrupt some cultivators.
Growers whose marijuana tests below 20% THC struggle to recoup their costs because their product won’t sell for a premium price, a lab director told the Anchorage Daily News.
The cost of a wholesale pound of cannabis in Alaska has dropped considerably, and cultivators pay a hefty excise tax on marijuana sold to retailers. That – on top of demand for high-THC flower – is making it difficult for cultivators to make ends meet.
The price difference for high-THC flower can be considerable, Jordan Huss, executive vice president of Great Northern Cannabis, a vertically integrated marijuana operation in Anchorage, told the Daily News.
Flower with 14% THC sells for only about $10 a gram, he said, but a strain with 20% THC sells for $16-$18 a gram.
Additionally, lab testing discrepancies – not unique to Alaska – complicate matters because the same product can be tested at two labs and have different potency results.