Home Grow How Much Is a Gram? A Guide to Cannabis Quantities

How Much Is a Gram? A Guide to Cannabis Quantities

by Team Marijuana News

Navigating the world of cannabis requires us to deal in a niche culture with a uniquely defined quantifying system. The cannabis industry quantifies flower using both the metric and imperial systems, and there is plenty of jargon used to reference standard amounts. This can be quite confusing to someone without experience in cannabis culture.

Cannabis typically is sold to consumers in one gram, one-eighth of an ounce, a quarter-ounce, a half-ounce, or a full ounce. Most dispensaries cap individual sales at one ounce per visit, so customers likely will not expect to go home with anything larger than an ounce of flower. Cultivators and distributors, however, frequently deal in half pounds and full pounds when selling to dispensaries.

A nug, or about one gram of cannabis. Photo: Jeff W / Unsplash

One gram

A single gram of cannabis produces about one joint or two bowls; it’s typically the smallest quantity of flower a dispensary will offer to customers. One gram of weed usually looks like a standard or average-size nug. Before recreational or medical marijuana were legalized in the United States, people colloquially referred to a gram as a “dime bag” because a gram of marijuana sold for about $10. Today, many dispensaries sell single grams of marijuana for around $15 depending on the quality of the product.

eighth ounce cannabis Sharon McCutcheon mg Magazine
One eighth ounce of cannabis will fit in the palm of an average-sized hand. Photo: Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

One eighth

When you hear people talk about “an eighth” in the context of cannabis, they are referring to one-eighth of an ounce of flower. This is a very popular amount among consumers. An eighth is equal to 3.5 grams of weed and usually will amount to a good handful if held in one palm. An eighth of flower will produce about four good-sized joints. Depending upon the strain and producer, the price of an eighth will usually vary from $20 to $65 plus any applicable state or local taxes.

light quarter ounce cannabis Add Weed mg Magazine
Slightly less than one-quarter ounce. Photo: Photo by Add Weed / Unsplash

Quarter ounce

Another popular amount among consumers looking to save money is one-quarter of an ounce. This is equivalent to seven grams of cannabis and produces around seven sizable joints. People often refer to this amount simply as “a quarter” or “a quad.” A quarter-ounce will typically be priced anywhere from $60 to $85 at retail.

half ounce of cannabis Kym MacKinnon mg Magazine
A half ounce of cannabis. Photo: Kym MacKinnon / Unsplash

Half ounce

A half-ounce or 14 grams of cannabis flower is frequently purchased by medical marijuana patients and high-volume recreational consumers. A half-ounce of cannabis costs anywhere between $100 and $160, making it a great option for people who have found a strain they really enjoy and want to save on the cost per gram. Generally, the larger the quantity, the more bang consumers expect to get for their buck. Dispensaries frequently offer exceptional deals on amounts this size and larger. A half-ounce, also referred to as “a half-O” or just “a half,” can produce more than 25 joints and up to 14 blunts.

One ounce of cannabis flower
Photo: PotShots / Shutterstok

Ounce

A full ounce is equal to 28 grams of marijuana. In most legal states, this is the maximum amount an individual may purchase at one time. Just like the price of a half-ounce, the price of a full ounce can vary significantly. Dispensaries typically price a full ounce of cannabis in the neighborhood of $160 to $350. When a dispensary needs to make space for incoming shipments of flower, they sometimes offer full ounces for heavily discounted prices.

one-half-pound of ground marijuana on white paper
Photo: GreenBroz Model G

Half pound

Once cannabis is being quantified in terms of pounds, it’s usually in the context of business-to-business sales. A half-pound is equal to 226.8 grams or eight ounces of marijuana. Industry workers sometimes refer to this amount as a “half pack” or a “half-pounder.” The amount usually takes up the space of half a bowling ball. In some instances, the industry professionals may deal in quarter pounds of cannabis flower, which are commonly referred to as “QPs.” If ground up, a half-pound of cannabis is approximately 13.5″ (length) x 7.2″ (width) x 6.25″ (height).

one-pound-of-ground cannabis on white paper
Photo: GreenBroz Model G

One pound

One full pound of weed is equal to 453.6 grams of flower, can pack upwards of 1,000 bowls or 500 joints, and takes up the space of a full bowling ball. One pound is an everyday measurement for growers and large-scale buyers or processors. Sun-grown (outdoor) cannabis costs around $100 per pound of flower to produce. However, when cannabis is grown in a greenhouse or indoors, production costs can increase from $250 to $475 per pound. A pound of decent quality flower is sold at wholesale for about $750 with much less expensive prices for older or lower-grade products. Once ground through a precision grinder, a full pound of ground cannabis is roughly 13.65″ (length) x 10.75″ (width) x 9.75″ (height).

Things Other Considerations for Dispensaries

Purchase limits and other regulations for cannabis vary by state, consumer type, product category, and timeframe. There are different rules for flower and concentrate that may impact medical and recreational sales differently.

Purchase limits

In California, a medical marijuana patient may purchase up to eight ounces of flower per day, but each consumer is limited to two ounces per day in Colorado. Recreational users in both California and Colorado are limited to one ounce of flower or 800mg of edibles per day. In New York, however, medical marijuana patients can purchase any amount approved by an authorized medical professional.

It is important for retailers to know who is shopping and what they are purchasing to avoid fines or, worse, lose their retail license. Strong standard operating procedures often tied into a point-of-sale system can greatly mitigate any risk for retailers.

Rules for transportation

Cannabis remains federally illegal, and crossing state lines with cannabis can result in federal prosecution on drug trafficking charges.

In some legal states, cannabis delivery is available. In Colorado, for example, stores are required to use a licensed transporter certified through the government, and only social equity applicants may apply. In addition, delivery licenses are open only to licensed medical marijuana retailers. Transporters are required to have dash cameras and ID scanners, and the amount of product they can carry in the vehicle at one time is limited. 

In California, cannabis delivery services must apply for a non-storefront retailer license and do not need an established retail business to qualify. California requires delivery services to keep detailed ledgers of every sale and use a GPS system that monitors the location of the delivery vehicle.

In New York, new legislation established a framework for licensed delivery services with a limit of 25 employees per business. However, delivery services will not be allowed to hold licenses for other cannabis-related businesses.

Unanticipated costs

In addition to understanding individual state regulations, cannabis entrepreneurs can mitigate their level of financial risk by understanding their consumer base and their area’s unmet needs. The regulatory, supply chain, taxation, advertising, and stigmatized aspects of the industry can present daunting operational costs. Obtaining sufficient capital and creating an innovative retail experience for the consumer are both significant factors in launching a successful cannabis business in a new market.

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