US (MI): Grower turns to organic cannabis because of plummeting prices

At a time when gas prices, food prices, home prices, and more are all going up, there's one consumer item that's doing the opposite: cannabis.

The average retail price for an ounce of cannabis at an adult-use dispensary dropped to its lowest point in January at $153. Since then, prices have risen slightly to $191 in March, the most recent data available, but that's still a 25% decrease compared with $255 in March 2021, according to figures from Michigan's Cannabis Regulatory Agency. Two years ago, in March 2020, the average price for an ounce was $471.

For consumers, this is good news. But smaller cannabis companies say they can't compete with the low prices that larger, often vertically integrated companies offer. "People come in, and they could buy three times the amount of cannabis (at another store) than what we're selling it for," said Eric Parkhurst, the grower and owner of Winewood Organics, a micro-business in Ann Arbor that grows, produces and sells adult-use cannabis.

Parkhurst said he's seeing competitors sell an ounce of flower for as low as $70. He sells an ounce for $250. "You can't really compete with that," he said. So instead of competing on price, he's growing organic cannabis and what he considers more craft, high-end cannabis in order to stand out.

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