It seems a perfectly valid question from the Chicago Sun Times..
Even as the state’s supply shortage appears to be over, a cannabis consultant claimed the “obscene” prices being charged at dispensaries across Illinois are “artificially created” by the state’s few growers.
Customers waited in line for hours in January to buy legal pot for the first time, only to learn there were limits on purchases — and some stores weren’t even selling smokeable cannabis flower to recreational users.
But since persistent supply shortages marred the rollout of recreational sales, cultivators have scaled up their operations to meet Illinois’ growing demand for legal weed. Now, 10 months later, pot store shelves are consistently stocked with flower.
But another issue remains: prices are still sky high.
According to industry analysts, Illinois has the most expensive weed in the country. Budzu, a crowdsourcing site that tracks the price of cannabis, says the average cost for an eighth of an ounce is roughly $62. In Colorado, the same amount costs around $33.
“That is the number one complaint that we get on our reviews,” said Jonah Rapino, a spokesman for Wheaton-based NuEra, which operates three Illinois dispensaries and one of the state’s 21 cultivation centers. “They’re blaming us, like, ‘How could you do this to us? How could you charge us this much money? You’re evil capitalist monsters.’”
Though hefty taxes are tacked on, NuEra’s location in West Town is charging $80 for an eighth of an ounce of some flower varietals. Cannabis consultant Andy Seeger claimed the “obscene” prices at dispensaries across Illinois are being “artificially created” by the state’s few growers.
“Their willingness to drop prices is theirs alone,” added Seeger. “No one’s forcing them to. There’s almost no competition to this point.”