Walk into your local dispensary, and there’s a good chance you might experience some sticker shock when you see the price of some weed varieties. When you recover, you might wonder what makes the most expensive weed strains different from their more affordable cousins and whether it’s worth shelling out hundreds (or, in some cases, well over a grand) for an ounce of weed. 

Every purveyor of pot has their own pricing structure and method for deciding what customers will pay for their herb. When it comes to the top-shelf products and most expensive strains of weed like Cannabis Caviar, which comes in at an average of $1,400 an ounce, many factors play a role in the price. 

It Costs HOW Much? What Determines the Cost of Your Smoke 

Like any product, supply and demand forms a huge part of the price of weed. The rarer the strain and the harder it is to get, the more it will cost the customer. 

For example, Alien Genetics, the breeder of the limited-time offering Fruity Pebbles, used several different cultivars to produce the strain known for providing an especially potent high to even seasoned smokers. Because Alien Genetics never feminized the breed, growers seem reluctant to spend $1,500 or more on seeds that may never grow, making the cultivar exceedingly rare. When you find Fruity Pebbles, prepare to open the wallet and drop some serious cash for it. 

What determines how much the dispensary charges for a strain relies on more than just its scarcity. Sellers have to consider additional influences like:

Growing Conditions 

Marijuana grows best in mild climates with a consistent temperature of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In less-than-ideal conditions, it loses potency, which affects the price. Growers often need to create the ideal growing conditions with lights and climate control, which increases their costs—which they pass on to buyers.

Market Conditions

Again, like any business, dispensaries have overhead costs, which factor into the cost of their offerings. For example, nearly every industry has felt the pinch of increased transportation costs over the past few years. High gas prices and delivery charges mean dispensaries have to pay more to get products from suppliers and, in turn, pass those increases on to customers. 

Local competition can also cause weed prices to increase. If a dispensary is the only local source for some of the rarest and most expensive weed strains, they can charge more for them than they could if other local shops carry the same options. When every seller in town has the same products, shopping for bargains becomes easier. 


The fact remains that illegal marijuana is almost always less expensive than legal pot. While we don’t recommend buying weed illegally since the consequences will undoubtedly cost more than the few dollars you save per ounce, you can’t ignore the fact that cannabis dispensaries are businesses and have expenses that a local “independent seller” simply doesn’t. 

Taxes serve as a huge contributor to the higher prices of legal weed. The taxes on cannabis are higher than those on alcohol, for example, because most states legalized it on the presumption that a portion of tax proceeds would fund important social programs.

Because the laws and financial codes surrounding legal marijuana sales require specific knowledge, dispensaries often need to hire lawyers and accountants to help manage their business and remain compliant. These professionals aren’t cheap, and when you consider that the store needs to pay for real estate, staff salaries, licenses, and more in addition to products, you can easily see why the prices for high-quality weed can reach astronomical heights.


Creating new strains of marijuana proves a complex process. Some of the most sought-after and high-dollar strains, like Isla OG and White Fire OG, result from careful breeding to create especially potent experiences. Skilled breeders use high-end equipment and world-class strains in their operations to create new and unique plants, but those efforts come at a price. 

What Is the Most Expensive Weed Strain?

As we mentioned, the most expensive weed strain on the market right now is Cannabis Caviar. Much like caviar is the most bougie food, Cannabis Caviar is the height of luxury when it comes to weed. At $1,400 an ounce, you might not have enough zeros in your bank balance to casually pick some up (if you can even locate some). Still, most members of the cannabis community agree that this remains the creme de la creme of weed. 

What makes Cannabis Caviar so special? It has the highest THC levels of any strain (32%). No one knows who created this exceptional strain of marijuana, but they do know the effects include euphoria and sedation, to the point where anyone without a high tolerance for weed will likely fall asleep pretty quickly after lighting up. 

One alternative to the hard-to-find Cannabis Caviar is Black Caviar, a very similar but slightly (and really, only slightly) less expensive option. Unless you have a baller’s budget, these strains will likely be an occasional treat rather than a casual smoke.

However, Cannabis Caviar isn’t the only spendy strain on the market. The Loud Dream strain, for example, runs about $800 an ounce. The indica-dominant cultivar remains a favorite for its ability to calm even the most tightly wound user while providing some mental clarity and energy to get through the longest Zoom session. The similarly priced Isla OG has a higher concentration of THC (25%), and the packaging approach (putting freshly cut buds into metal canisters to cure immediately after trimming) means it’s the freshest of any available strain. 

Another pricey strain, Oracle, also comes in at about $800 an ounce. Although cultivators initially claimed it contained extra high levels of THC—up to 45%!—testing showed that it actually has about 1% THC and a similar profile to significantly less expensive strains. Oracle makes a better option for people who don’t want to get stoned but still want the therapeutic benefits of relaxation and increased focus. 

Alternatives to the Most Expensive Strains of Weed 

When you don’t have a tech entrepreneur’s billion-dollar bank account, shelling out the equivalent of a mortgage payment on an ounce of pot probably isn’t in your budget. But continue reading for the good news: You can find plenty of less expensive alternatives that offer an exceptional experience without the price tag. 

One option is Cannabiotix Tropical Lemonade Flower, a fruity cultivar that tastes like summer and offers a joyful, euphoric high that helps you overcome fatigue with a burst of energy. At $350 per ounce, it ranks as one of Nexus Delivers’ most expensive offerings but still costs far less than other options. 

Another high-end Nexus product customers love is Clout King Wagyu Flower, a hybrid strain coming in at $300 per ounce. The distinctly meaty flavor makes this a unique smoke, and most users find that the high THC level gives it a major kick, followed by pain relief, relaxation, and mental clarity. 

For a fruitier smoke, try Wonderbrett Grapes of Wrath, a $300 per ounce hybrid with a mellow high that lets you relax and release mental stress. The overall experience of smoking Grapes of Wrath feels less intense than other cannabis strains, making it ideal when you just want to chill out for a while. 

Should You Buy Expensive Weed?

How much you’ll actually pay for an ounce of marijuana varies wildly by state, with an ounce in a weed-friendly state like Oregon running an average of $185. In more highly regulated areas, like Washington, D.C., the average price for an ounce hovers around $500. Buying weed illegally is almost always cheaper, but again, saving a couple of bucks isn’t worthwhile if being caught means hefty fines or even jail time. 

Ultimately, what you spend is your choice and depends on your budget, preferences, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Most people save the high-quality but super-expensive cultivars for occasional treats and buy less expensive strains for regular use. As you become more familiar with different strains and learn more about what you like (and never want to smoke again), you can research and try options at multiple price points to find what works best for you. 

Check Out the Nexus Delivers Selection

When you want high-quality products but can’t swing the most expensive weed strains, check out Nexus Delivers’ selection of cannabis flowers, pre-rolls, and other products. With Nexus, you won’t need to waste time driving to the dispensary—you can get what you want when you want, without hassles or inconvenience. 

Ready to try some new cannabis products? Check out the selection, then order online or call (916) 709-4137.

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