cost per desired effect of cannabis
cost per desired effect of cannabis

Cost Per Desired Effect - Why Cannabis Will Make Alcohol Obsolete in 20 Years

Everyone knows the health benefits of cannabis, but what about the finances?

Posted by:
Thom Baccus on Thursday Dec 31, 2020

Cost Per Desired Effect – Why Cannabis Will Make Alcohol Obsolete in 20 Years

cost per desired effect

For regular readers of our site, you are well aware of the healthy aspects that the cannabis plant can bring to people’s lives.  We try to stress the health benefits of using cannabis in your daily life, but today there is another reason why cannabis is not only healthy for you, but will also win the recreational, or pure enjoyment, experience verse alcohol, that being costs.  But before we get to that financial model, let me stress that cannabis will be the choice over alcohol for a new generation for a few reasons, of which cost is only the 3rd or 4th reason.


Before getting into the cost per desired effect which this article is about, let us backtrack and cover why cannabis will win out over alcohol in a purely biological way.  Cannabis is a natural plant, when consumed is it actually healthy and good for you, as opposed to the damages that alcohol can do to the liver, kidney, and brain.  Marijuana is 100x better for you than fermented alcohol, as millions of people use just one cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, CBD, to help them daily with chronic alignment like sleep issues, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.  The cannabis plant has over 300 more cannabinoids other than CBD that science is just starting to explore.  Two, there is no hangover with cannabis. Three, there is no calorie intake from cannabis unless you are eating it in the form of a gummy or chocolate. Fourth, it very easily to control the length and strength of your cannabis experience.  Need a small buzz effect, just take a hit off of some cannabis vape oils or puff of a joint.  Want a stronger more intense body experience, try an edible where you can feel the effects for one hour up to 5 hours depending on how much you consume.  Basically, once you know your own bodies parameters, cannabis has an on and off switch, even with edibles, hence the cannabis edibles that come in 5mg, 10mg, 25mg, and 50mg dosages.


But the point of this article was not the stuff covered above, as we have hundreds of articles covering the health affects of cannabis on the body, this is about cost, bucks, dinero, a pure financial incentive to switch it cannabis. The point being, weed is cheap!


Cost per desired effect is what I call it when compared to alcohol.  In the end, consumers all make a conscious or unconscious decision about buying recreational products. What is the cost, and what is the enjoyment level received from that cost?


For alcohol, the desired effect on the minimal side is a buzz.  That can be two drinks for most people.  If you are out at a bar or restaurant, that can be anywhere from $5 a drink to $15 a drink.  To make the math simple and give alcohol the benefit of the doubt, we will say it is $5 a drink, and so to get a buzz or light alcohol effect is $10, or 2 x $5.  In reality, with a tip included, it is probably closer to $15 for two drinks but I digress.  Let’s just say 3 drinks at a retail location gets you drunk or heavily buzzed so maximum desired effect on the expensive side off being served at non-home-based location at $20. Again, it is probably closer to $30 but let’s give alcohol a fair chance.


Buying alcohol for the home is a much wider range, since a cheap bottle of wine that “gets the job done” may be $7.99, all the way up to a bottle of tequila or rum at $25.  Let’ stick to giving booze the best-case scenario and say a bottle of $8 wine with 3 to 4 glasses gets the job done to be sloshed.  A cheap 6-pack may cost you $9 to $12, ballpark.


To summarize:

Alcohol (non-home based) cost for the desired effect is $20 to $25

Alcohol bough at retail and brought home cost per desired effect is $8 to $12 minimum.


Why is Alcohol Doomed?


To put it simply, alcohol is too expensive compared to cannabis. A generation of millennials were kids during the 2008 financial crash and saw their parents trying to save money by cutting the cable bill in half and stopped going out to dinner. This same generation is now living their the COVID pandemic and economic fallout of job losses and stimulus checks. This is not the baby-boomer generation wealth and glory, it is a frugal, cost conscious (not counting iPhones) generation. Money matters and micro-investment apps like Robinhood booming, every cent actually does count.


Dosage for dosage, and effect for desired effect, cannabis is drastically cheaper.  A 10mg dose of cannabis edibles, the recommended adult dosage for a strong, 3-to-5-hour effect, is close to a $1 to $1.25 in some places in America.  For 99% of the population, a 10mg edible is a powerful joyride of desired effects, lasting a few hours to a longer in a good night’s sleep. Those prices are retail right now as well, so the wholesale prices have to be drastically lower for those retailers to make a profit at $1 per experience.


Basically, weed is super cheap compared to alcohol and the desired results.  In order to get a good buzz for a few hours it will costs you $10 on the low side and $25 on the high side with alcohol. With cannabis, not even counting the healthy aspects of ingesting cannabis as compared to alcohol, it is basically a $1 to $2 per “night out” or “getting high”.


Can you go out and get lite at the bar for $1 all night?  Can you go home with a 6-pack or a cheap bottle of wine for $1.25?  You can have a great experience with no calories and no hangover for $1.25 in most legal states.


Keep in mind this fact as well, all quoted math is done on the LEGAL cannabis market, that includes price markups for rent, leases, taxes, employees, insurance.  Prices are 30% cheaper for flower and edibles on the cananbis black market.  Work in the math of 33% to 50% of people still buying their cannabis on the black market, and you see prices per mg of THC dropping even more.


And just thing, these prices are based on marijuana still being Federally illegal and not having full access to legal growing markets and license. As more product comes online in the next 10 years, margins will compress, prices will drop, and we could see a $0.50 per 10mg dosage for 10mg THC edibles. A pre-rolled joint is $8 to $10 and can last a person a few days.  A 0.5ml vape cartridge of high quality cannabis oil is only $25.  Many people go weeks on one screw on vape cartridges. That is less than a $1 a day to get a buzz.


Yes, $0.50 to get lite, high, stoned, or messed up for a whole night.


Remember, there is also no such thing as “medical alcohol” programs or “medicinal booze” cards given out by doctors for a reason.








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