You could say that weed in DC is priceless—because, technically speaking, buying weed in DC is illegal. Initiative 71 legalized the possession and use of cannabis in 2015 but not the sale. DC weed dispensaries get around this by “gifting” weed with the purchase of another item, usually a T-shirt, piece of art, or even a sticker.
So when we talk about Washington DC weed dispensary prices, keep in mind that we’re talking about the cost of the item you need to purchase to receive that cannabis item as a gift. It’s a couple of extra steps, but the result is the same. Though you could get a pretty sweet sticker out of the deal…
Anyway, here’s our handy guide to Washington DC weed dispensary prices.
DC Weed Prices
What’s the Average Price for an Ounce of Weed in DC?
It depends! As I-71 shops in DC have grown and diversified, so have their prices. We’ve seen an ounce sell for as low as $140 and as high as $460. At most DC weed gifters, an ounce of weed will go for anywhere between $250 to $400.
You won’t always find the same amounts offered at DC weed dispensaries either, so you may need to do a bit of math to find the best deal. Many storefronts will only gift an eighth with your purchase, and they don’t offer scaled discounts for bulk purchases.
However, as more recreational dispensaries in DC have opened, the competition has been heating up. We’ve started to see better discounts and scaled pricing emerge. You won’t find those features at every dispensary, but most DC weed delivery services do offer scaled pricing on their products.
So does the quality match the price? Well, that depends, too. Thankfully, Gentleman Toker has all the best info on how to find the best weed in DC and which products are actually worth the money.
How Do DC Weed Prices Compare to National Weed Prices?
Unfortunately, Washington DC’s weed dispensary prices are often a lot higher than in other parts of the country. The national average for the price of an ounce of medium-quality weed is $265, which is on the low end of DC’s weed prices.
Again, it’s going to depend on where you go. Some places in California can be pretty dang expensive, while some of the lowest weed prices are in Washington and Oregon. But then you’d be crossing a continent for some cheap weed. Meanwhile, our neighbors in New York have just recently legalized recreational cannabis, and prices will likely be high until enough shops are open up.
Factors of Washington DC Weed Dispensary Prices
DC Weed Strains
One of the biggest factors in Washington DC weed dispensary prices is the strains that are offered. All the DC weed gifters in town want to have the best flavors that are going to bring customers back over and over again. Some of the most popular DC weed strains are probably going to be priced a bit higher since they know they know customers are going to pay. That’s just capitalism, baby.
One of our favorite strains is XJ-13 from Giving Tree. A cross between Jack Herer and G-13 Haze, it's a perfect blend of sweet, bitter, tangy, and zesty that runs for $70 an eighth.
Another favorite is Waffles from Legacy DC. Its lineage may be mysterious, but its sour candy flavor is crystal clear. You can get your hands on an eighth of Waffles for $90. You’ll find cheaper and pricier DC weed strains, but that’s a good range to look for.
Weed Delivery in DC
Depending on which DC weed delivery service you use, the cost of the delivery will be factored into the price differently.
Some DC weed gifters don’t charge a delivery fee but do require a minimum purchase amount to qualify for delivery. That could be up to $100, depending on the DC weed delivery service you use.
Other services may instead tack a delivery fee onto the purchase price. The fee varies depending on the business, the distance to be traveled, or even the time of day.
Quality and Strength
Some recreational dispensaries want you to think that the more you pay, the more high-quality the product is. Commercial cannabis is graded by the method used to grow it, and Washington DC weed dispensary prices are based heavily on the cultivation grade.
But all the cultivation grade does is predict how much THC will be produced. In our experience, how the weed was grown is much less important than how well it was grown. Typically, the more money that growers spend on cultivating their weed, the more potent the finished product will be. We've experienced marijuana both sublime and terrifying at every tier of the cultivation scale.
The lowest tier of weed you can buy is grown outside. When a Washington DC weed dispensary prices its eighths at less than $50, then it's most likely outdoor. Zips for $250 or less are almost assuredly outdoor.
If you smoked weed in high school, it was probably outdoor cannabis. The reason outdoor, or sungrown, weed is the cheapest available is that it lacks the impressive trichome growth that can be achieved by skilled indoor growers. The trichomes determine the THC percentage—cannabis quality is all about the THC.
People also want to buy a product that looks good, too. While buds produced outdoors grow larger, their color is muted compared to indoor-grown cannabis.
It’s also more likely that unplanned pollination will occur when growing outdoors. Claims from outdoor growers that their plants were pollinated by other weed farms in the area are common. From a consumer perspective, seeds contain only trace amounts of THC, which means they're dead weight in your bag. Plus, the plant stopped concentrating on THC production when it got preggers, so you can generally expect lower potency from outdoor-grown flowers.
Product safety and environmental damage are also fair questions when discussing outdoor weed available from unlicensed sources. It’s well known that some guerrilla growers use unsafe chemicals that can leak into the groundwater.
However, if a grower is skilled, knowledgeable, and diligent, you can get fantastic quality from sungrown cannabis. Some connoisseurs even consider the natural light of the sun a prerequisite for cannabis to be called "organic." Premium sungrown weed exhibits a broader spectrum of cannabinoid and terpene profiles that enrich its aromas, flavors, and overall effects.
Greenhouse / Light Deprivation
Greenhouse is the intermediate tier in the classic cultivation scale. Heavier trichomes can be expected with greater environmental control, but you are still using that lazy, do-nothing sun as your primary light source. Washington DC weed dispensaries typically price their fresh, well-manicured greenhouse buds at $50–60 for an eighth or $280–320 per ounce.
You can also experiment with different growing mediums stepping up to greenhouse (and indoor) cultivation. Years ago, the term “hydroponic” was synonymous with "kind bud" (a.k.a. sinsemilla, or seedless). But all that means is that the weed was grown in water instead of soil. There's aeroponics, too, where you keep the growing room so misty that your cannabis plants draw water directly from the air around it. Weed science is pretty neat, huh?
Light deprivation, a.k.a. light-dep, is a specific type of greenhouse growing that uses precise angles and blackout areas in its construction to maximize solar efficiency. Light-dep techniques can produce crops year-round just like growing indoors, but with higher yields—some manufacturers claim as much as 25–30% higher yields, but your mileage may vary on that. The point is that it is much cheaper than growing indoors, is more eco-friendly, and still benefits from the increased cannabinoids and terpene profiles that indoor sungrown cannabis enjoys.
This is all fine and dandy, so long as Washington DC weed dispensaries stick to those greenhouse prices. But word on the street is that some folks around town are trying to pass off greenhouse for indoor prices, which is a totally uncool thing to do. So how can you tell the difference?
The gap between greenhouse and indoor is closing as technology advances, but greenhouse-grown cannabis will not result in the lush, robust trichome production that marks premium indoor weed. You should expect deeper green and purple hues with greenhouse buds. It won’t be as dark as sungrown, because achieving those really bright, vibrant colorations requires indoor cultivation techniques. Most greenhouse buds won’t get as plump as indoor, either. If your buds look a little flat and dull and have smaller trichomes, you’ve probably got yourself a bag of greenhouse buds.
Indoor is the highest tier in the cultivation scale. When you find buds with massive, shaggy trichomes, you know they could only have been grown indoors using precisely timed, high-intensity bulbs and delicate environmental controls.
You can expect indoor-grade cannabis to come in at around $65–75 an eighth. But we wouldn't pout at $80 if the trichomes and bag appeal are truly impressive, and we’ve definitely seen higher than that. A Washington DC weed dispensary may price an ounce of premium indoor weed for $350–400, and beautiful buds could easily fetch $450.
We brought up environmental impact when discussing outdoor, so it's only fair to point out that the problem with indoor cannabis cultivation at an industrial scale is the enormous amount of power required for each crop. Light technology is improving rapidly though, as more states legalize and newly-licensed cultivators try to get their massive electric bills down.
Indoor growing also thumbs its nose at the concept of seasons, allowing cultivators to grow weed constantly throughout the year. Unknown pollination vectors are removed as a risk, so you're far less likely to end up with crossed plants than growing outdoors.
Marijuana is a hardy plant that has thrived in closets, basements, and garages throughout its prohibition. As long as its basic needs for light, soil, wind, humidity, and nutrients are tended to, it can grow. You can also sing to them every morning for a little extra boost. They prefer Bob Marley (obviously), but they also enjoy some ABBA on occasion.
We hate to break it to you, but in most cases, designer weed is indoor that you overpaid for.
With legalization, there has been a wave of celebrity growers and breeders whose flowers can fetch premium prices. These designer flowers are typically packed in soft-touch, mylar bags with beautiful graphics boasting the newest, headiest strains inside. The most ubiquitous of these across the country has to be Berner's super-popular Cookies brand, which started in California but has license agreements in a growing number of recreational and medical markets (including Culta in Maryland).
Designer flowers aren’t bad, necessarily—they just cost too much. The price of designer weed at a Washington DC weed dispensary could be more than $85 an eighth, with no scaling for bulk buying. Too many times have we opened a designer bag only to find nothing remarkable about its contents.
In some cases, the fault likely lies with unscrupulous individuals buying the pre-printed packaging online and putting whatever buds they want inside. Speaking of, have you noticed how those sleek bags don't have a window? Yeah, that's not a bug—it's a feature. Once they've been heat-sealed, there's no way you can check out what you're buying upfront. As a consumer, that’s not the way I want to do business.
That is why the Gentleman's advice is to avoid designer flowers unless you get to inspect them first. I’m expecting heavy trichomes, unique hues, and enchanting aromas at this price point. In fact, if you give me that, I don’t really care whether it has a brand name or not.
Explore Our Directory for the Best Washington DC Weed Dispensary Prices
Now that you’ve got the lay of the land, it's time to explore! We have years of experience smoking and toking and checking out every weed dispensary in the DC area. Be sure to check out our blog, podcast, buying guide, and—of course—our sweet deals.