If you’ve ever looked at the price of cannabis and cringed, I don’t blame you. Depending on where you are in Canada, consumers will pay between $5.85 and $10.65 per gram. Especially when buying in bulk, the price tag can feel pretty steep, but have you considered how the price of cannabis might stack up against other things?
When it comes to other farm products, it’s hard to compare. According to Statistics Canada’s report on farm product prices, commodities like barley and wheat go for around $200 – $250 per tonne, the same amount you might spend per ounce of value-brand cannabis. Similarly, you probably won’t find anything in the grocery store that has a price-per-gram similar to cannabis. The closest contenders are prime rib steak coming in at $36.43 per kilogram, and instant coffee at $7.12 per 200g.
For the fancy stuff, you may want to visit a specialty grocery store. Saffron, Iranian beluga caviar, and To’ak chocolate (Ecuadoran chocolate aged in whiskey barrels) come pretty close at $5.45, $3.63, and $8.18 per gram, respectively, due to their rarity and difficulty to acquire. Italian white truffles command an even higher price for the same reasons, costing $10.09 per gram.
Most other commodities costing more than ten dollars per gram are rare gems and metals and hard-to-synthesize chemicals and compounds – or skincare.
However, one item stands out that you wouldn’t expect: tea. Da Hong Pao tea, sourced from the Fujian province of China, costs around $1900 per gram. According to local tea masters, the long, dark, curled leaves command such a price because there aren’t many of the trees left and they can’t seem to grow anywhere else. According to a 2016 article from BBC Travel, the last cluster of plants were watched over by armed guards and are tended to by tea masters with ancient knowledge.
I think cannabis has a long way to go before it gets to the legendary status of Da Hong Pao tea, but with a little perspective now, the price doesn’t seem so bad.