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What’s An Ounce Gonna Cost Me? Your Legal Weed Questions Answered

Will I be able to buy legal weed with a credit card? Can restaurants sell marijuana infused-foods? How will I know when I’m high?

You’ve sent us lots of questions about legal weed. Some require a deep dive into the history of the plant or the lengthy legal steps to get a cannabis crime expunged, but this week, it’s time for another round of FACQs (frequently asked cannabis questions.)

What will the cost be to buy, say, 30 grams of legal weed? And will the cost be less than/or bring down the cost of medical marijuana?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

Tricky question! It’ll likely cost a lot, at least at first. That’s because high demand and a tight cap on cultivators and dispensaries will almost certainly lead to a shortage of weed in Illinois at the beginning, experts say.

Eli McVey, a research analyst at Marijuana Business Daily, said over time, prices start to decline in both recreational and medicinal markets as more growers enter the industry and existing growers get more efficient.

McVey, who lives in Colorado, said 30 grams, or a bit more than an ounce, of recreational weed goes for about $90 in his home state today. But in 2015, a year after Colorado started selling recreational weed, an ounce sold for $140before taxes.

“However, there were several hundred cannabis growers in Colorado in 2015 and there will be fewer than 100 in Illinois in 2020,” McVey wrote in an email. “Plus, Colorado is about half the size [in population] of Illinois, so there wasn’t as much in-state demand.”

His guess? Illinois consumers could be paying roughly double the prices Colorado consumers were back in 2015. So he predicts an ounce of cannabis could run somewhere around $300 before taxes.

Paul Lee, a manager at Dispensary 33 in Chicago, estimates prices will be even steeper — $400-600 after taxes for an ounce depending on the strength of the weed and the dispensary.

But let’s talk even smaller quantities — enough to roll a couple of joints. Currently in Chicago, a single gram of strong medical weed costs about $20, according to the crowdsourcing site Budzu, which tracks weed prices across the country.

If recreational weed ends up at the same price point, Chicago taxes (state weed tax, state sales tax and local weed tax) would bump that anywhere from $24 to $27, depending on the strength of the weed.

Will banks and credit card companies be part of the process or still all cash?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

Cash only — at least for now! Weed is illegal at the federal level so major credit card companies say they don’t feel comfortable doing business with dispensaries.

Earlier this year, cannabis company Columbia Care rolled out its own credit card. But it only works at their dispensary locations, including one in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood.

But people may be able to use credit cards to purchase cannabis products if the U.S. SAFE Banking Act is signed into law. That law, which has passed the House and is now in a Senate committee, would protect financial institutions from federal punishment for doing business with legitimate cannabis businesses. Local lawmakers have also passed measures meant to assure credit card companies they’d be protected from repercussions, though no major company has said it will take the leap.

So you said that 30 grams of cannabis flower will be allowed in Illinois. Will cannabis be legal in other forms such as edibles or oils?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

Yep! One way to get a sneak peak at what might be sold in recreational shops is to browse products on websites of Chicago’s existing medical dispensaries. Owners and industry folks say the products will be very similar.

Will restaurants/caterers/food trucks be able to sell marijuana-infused menu items?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

Nope, only licensed dispensaries can sell cannabis treats.

However, a provision of the Illinois law allows local governments to decide whether they want to allow people to usecannabis at places like bars, restaurants or dispensaries. The law makes an exemption for cannabis in the Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which bans smoking in office buildings and most public places.

Chicago officials intend to introduce a cannabis consumption licensing ordinance in late November, which will give us a better idea of how this might look in the city.

Will it be legal to order marijuana online if both the dispensary and recipient are in Illinois?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

Buying weed online or through the mail will still be illegal in Illinois, whether that’s within the state or across state boundaries, according to state officials.

What’s the difference in strength between the weed of the 70s and the weed that will be legal in Illinois?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

The answer is: it’s complicated. We think The Atlantic’s deep dive on this is worth a read, even though it’s a few years old.

“It’s difficult if not impossible to classify average potency in a way that can be tracked meaningfully over time,” writes executive editor Adrienne LaFrance. “While there’s almost certainly more super-strong pot available today — if only by the fact that it’s now legal to buy in multiple states — it doesn’t mean that all marijuana is ultra-potent today, which is how the narrative about potency is often framed. There’s also a point at which most strains can’t get much stronger.”

Must you give your license, like with alcohol? Must you register purchases under your name like [behind the counter medicine]? Can purchases be held against you?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

You will need a government-issued ID to buy weed. Dispensaries will use electronic card readers, like the ones used at grocery or liquor stores, to make sure your ID is valid, State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, wrote in an email. But state officials say that information will not be stored.

Your ID proves your age, since you have to be 21 to buy, and your address, since there are restrictions on the quantities of cannabis out-of-state visitors can buy.

I’ve heard a lot about issues with licensing and concerns that there won’t really be a “rollout” on January 1. Is there merit to this?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

There’s some merit to that, depending on who you ask. But not so much that you won’t be able to buy a joint on Jan. 1. Under the law, up to 110 dispensaries could theoretically be open statewide on New Year’s Day.

But it’s unlikely they’ll all be ready, because dispensaries are subject to both a state licensing process and any local rules municipalities impose. And some towns have banned pot sales or are still working out the details of their own ordinances.

In Chicago, for example, state law allows for about 20 dispensaries to sell recreationally starting Jan. 1, but some of those could be delayed by the city’s own rules.

So far, only one dispensary within city limits is state-licensed to sell recreationally at the start of the year — MedMar Dispensary in Lakeview — though that number will likely increase in the next couple of months.

Here’s a list of existing medical dispensaries across the state that have been granted a license to sell recreationally starting Jan. 1.

Once I’ve smoke[d] a cannabis cigarette, how will I know when I get high?

— Asked by an anonymous questioner

This differs for people! The National Institute on Drug Abusehas the clinical answer: “Many people experience a pleasant euphoria and sense of relaxation. Other common effects, which may vary dramatically among different people, include heightened sensory perception (e.g., brighter colors), laughter, altered perception of time, and increased appetite.”

But we reached out to David Bienenstock, co-host of the podcast Great Moments in Weed History, for his take.

“You’ll know you’re high when you start calling ‘cannabis cigarettes’ joints,” he joked in an email. “But seriously, that’s a very interesting question but one that’s hard to answer directly. . My best advice would be to not just sit there waiting to see if you feel high, because you’ll pretty much know when it happens. And don’t smoke a whole joint on your first try, start with a puff or two and see how you feel. You can always have more.”

If marijuana is legalized in IL, do I have to use it? If so, how much am I required to smoke/take in per year?

— Asked by Lula PeBoy

While we highly suspect Lula PeBoy is not a real person, this is one of our favorite questions, even if it is a spoof. Rest assured, the law does not require that Illinois residents get high.

Mariah Woelfel is a reporter at WBEZ. You can follow her on Twitter @MariahWoelfel.

Illustrations are by WBEZ’s interactive producer Paula Friedrich. You can follow her on Twitter @pauliebe.

Questions or comments about the story?

WBEZ values your feedback.

It’s time for another round of FACQs (frequently asked cannabis questions.)

Weed Measurements: weights chart, prices and tips

Whether we grow our own cannabis or buy it from someone else, we like to use familiar terms for the amount we are buying. If you’re new to the world of cannabis you may feel surprised by the number of slang terms used for various weights of weed. Often, the starting point for weed weights is usually an ounce. Numerous sub divisions of an ounce have evolved, often with their own unofficial names.

Summary:
How many grams are in an eighth of an ounce of weed?
Weed measurement chart in ounces and grams
Other slang terms for weed amounts
How to measure your weed weights easily
Growing your own weed from cannabis seeds is easy and cheap

How many grams are in an eighth of an ounce of weed?

Here is a list of some of the most commonly purchased weights of weed.

Ounce Gram
1/28 of an ounce (‘a gram’, ‘a dime bag’) 1 gram
⅛ of an ounce (‘an eighth’) ≈3.5 grams
¼ of an ounce (‘a quarter’) ≈7 grams
½ of an ounce (‘a half’) ≈14 grams
1 ounce (‘an ounce’, ‘a zip’) ≈28 grams

The cost of cannabis

The amount you will pay for cannabis can vary greatly. Whether you are in a legal or illegal cannabis country, the more you buy the cheaper it gets. Costs also vary significantly from country to country. An ounce of weed in Colorado (where it’s legal) will cost you less than it would in Saudi Arabia or Singapore (where prohibition is violently enforced).

If you know the person growing the cannabis then you may be able to buy it at cost/discounted prices. If you are new to an area with no contacts you may have no choice but to pay expensive street prices. But for many people in Europe, UK and USA prices of around €200/£200/$200 are not untypical if you are buying around an ounce of mid-range cannabis. Of course, you can pay a lot more for the very finest produce.

This article assumes typical street pricing of around €200/£200/$200, though we appreciate this varies significantly even within the same country. It’s also worth adding that even in areas with legal cannabis supply, there are those that will offer black market budget priced cannabis at prices that undercut ‘official’ prices and can be cheaper than the €/£/$200 level suggested here. However, quality/purity can’t always be guaranteed.

Conversely, in countries with regulated cannabis supply, some connoisseur black marketeers sell at prices higher than dispensary prices. Here, the reasons often given (sometimes with justification) is that the best of the black market weed is superior, grown from better genetics, or is truly organic.

An eighth of an ounce of weed:3.5 grams of weed. Working on a typical street price of around €200 per ounce, an eighth of an ounce should cost around €/£/$25. However, small purchases of weed are usually the least affordable way to buy it. Typical street costs can be nearer €35-40 or more, thats around €10 per gram for mid range cannabis. Higher quality strains can be twice the price!

In big cities, street prices can be higher with no guarantee of quality. Disillusionment with high weed prices is one of the main reasons people decide to grow their own.

Grams Cost
7 grams €/£/$50-60
14 grams €/£/$100-120
28 grams €200/£200/$200

A quarter of an ounce of weed: 7 grams of weed. Often this can cost around €/£/$50-60.

Half an ounce of weed: 14 grams of weed. Cost is usually around €/£/$100-120.

A full ounce of weed: 28 grams of weed. Usually you can pay around €200/£200/$200 for an ounce of mid-range cannabis, much more if you are in an expensive area or have few contacts. Even in legal dispensaries, the best quality strains can cost upwards $300 per ounce. That’s up to twice the price of the cheapest budget strains. Those with a friendly network of good growers may be able to buy weed for less.

Weed measurement chart in ounces and grams

Often the metric/imperials systems are used alongside each other. Just like other commodities, cannabis is more affordably priced when bought in large quantities. However, cannabis is far more than a commodity.

Large quality differences can exist from grower to grower, with much depending on the quality of the cannabis seeds, grow conditions and grower expertise.

Most cannabis supply networks, whether legal or illegal, have a pricing structure for budget, average and premium strains. Therefore pricing for a given weed weight can vary according to the quality. Sometimes the real challenge can be working out whether a strain is really worth the premium being asked.

Most of the day-to-day cannabis purchases are relatively small ones, a quarter ounce or less. Those buying in countries with regulated cannabis sales may have restrictions on maximum purchase amounts. In a Dutch coffeeshop you are usually restricted to buying a maximum of 5g of weed at a time.

Other slang terms for weed amounts

Lots of different local terms can be found for describing weed measurements. The origins of these terms is often unclear, with some of the original meanings being lost over time.

Dime or Dime Bag

A dime bag is often regarded as the smallest weed amount. If you are short of cash and just need enough weed to roll a joint or two then a dime bag is just what you need.

How many grams of weed is a dime bag?

1 gram of weed is typical. Often you will see just a single small bud if you are lucky.

How much does a dime bag cost?

Historically a dime bag cost around $10, hence the name ‘dime’ bag. But even that can change. These days, if the bud is particularly good quality, you may be asked more than $10 for it.

What does a dime bag look like?

Usually you can expect a small plastic bag, not much bigger than your thumb. But with any luck you can get one decent sized joint from your dime bag, maybe two if you don’t mind moderating the joint size a little.

Dub of bud

If you have a little more cash to spare you may wish to buy a dub of bud. The word ‘dub’ is thought (no-one can be 100% sure) to stand for ‘double dime bag’. In other words, twice the size of your standard dime bag.

How many grams of weed is a dub of bud?

2 grams of weed.

How much does a dub of bud cost?

Good question! Typically you would expect to pay around $20 for a dub of bud. But quality conscious dealers often offer high quality dub bags for premium prices, $30 or even more.

What does a dub of bud look like?

Expect a small bag that comfortably fits in the palm of your hand. Usually you get a self sealing transparent plastic bag with enough weed for around 4-5 joints. Usually you will get a couple of buds in your dub bag.

Eighth of bud

An eighth of bud is one of the more common weed amounts to purchase. Buying a dime bag can seem like an expensive way to purchase cannabis. But buying an eighth of bud allows you a little more buying power and perhaps a slightly better value deal

How many grams of weed is an eighth of bud?

3.5 grams of weed, one eighth of an ounce.

How much does an eighth of bud cost?

Prices vary so much even within a single country. An eighth of budget weed would be a lot cheaper than a eighth of premium quality weed in a big city. But for a mid-range ‘eighth’ you might expect to pay around €30/$30/£30.

What does an eighth of bud look like?

You might expect to see about 6 or 7 buds. Some generous dispensaries will upgrade you from 3.5g to a 4g deal for free. For many people, buying an eighth of cannabis is more cost effective than buying 2 or 3 dime bags.

Quarter of bud

A ‘quarter of bud’, or quarter ounce, is one of the larger weed amounts for a personal purchase. Perhaps you like the idea of getting a better value purchase. Or perhaps you simply love your cannabis and enjoy having enough to last you the week.

How many grams of weed is a quarter of bud?

7 grams of weed.

How much does a quarter of bud cost?

Expect to pay around €/£/$50-70 for a mid range deal. Prices can vary greatly of course, with premium buds coming in at higher prices.

What does a quarter of bud look like?

Expect a chunky sized bag that will fit in your palm. You might be able to get around a dozen joints from your quarter, maybe more

Half Ounce or Half a Zip

Many serious cannabis lovers hate to run out of their cherished buds. That’s why many buy in bulk and always have a few spare buds, just in case. A half ‘zip’ is one of the more ‘serious’ purchase quantities.

How many grams of weed is a half ounce?

14 grams of weed.

How much does a half ounce cost?

Much depends, of course. But for a mid range half ounce, you can expect to pay upwards of €/£/$100-125.

What does a half ounce look like?

You can expect a small bag, around the size of a modest bag of potato crisp snacks. If you use around a gram of weed every day or two, then you can expect a half ounce bag to last you around 3 weeks.

Full Ounce or Zip

In many dispensaries, an ounce is the largest amount of weed you are allowed to buy in one transaction. You get the best value when you buy in larger quantities. If you find a high quality strain which you simply love, and if you can afford it, an ounce of weed is a great stash which removes the anxiety of running out.

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many cannabis lovers bought (or grew) themselves ample inventories to allow them to get through lock down.

How many grams of weed is a full ounce?

28 grams of weed.

How much does a full ounce cost?

Around €/£/$ 200 for a mid-range quality level.

What does a full ounce look like?

You would need to ‘cup’ your hands to hold an ounce of buds in them. For most serious cannabis users, an ounce of weed would last a month or two. Some people call an ounce of weed a ‘lid’.

Quarter Pound or QP

Few of us ever buy a ‘QP’ or quarter pound of weed. Often it tends to be professional dispensary/coffee-shop owners that buy in wholesale quantities. Often the more professional vendors will have full cannabinoid and terpene analysis available on large purchases, this way you know exactly what you are buying.

How many grams of weed is a full quarter pound?

About 113 grams of weed, or 4 ounces. In many countries possession of such a quantity would be regarded as a serious crime. However, in some USA states, medical marijuana patients can own 3-6 ounces of cannabis.

How much does a full quarter pound cost?

In a legal USA state, you might expect to pay somewhere around $750 for a QP. Over the last few years, as US supply has occasionally exceeded demand, wholesale prices of cannabis have been lower than many of the licensed producers would have liked.

What does a full quarter pound look like?

Expect a large bag of weed! Similar in size to a large family bag of potato crisps or snacks.

How to measure your weed weights easily

When buying from a trusted supplier, it’s customary not to weigh your weed purchases and trust the person selling it. But not everyone agrees! Some people carry a simple set of digital scales around with them so they can double check that they are not being ripped off with their weed weights.

Others, especially those that live in areas with illegal cannabis, are reluctant to travel with a digital (or analogue) set of weighing scales. The concern would be that, if caught, they could be accused of being a cannabis dealer themselves.

Growing your own weed from cannabis seeds is easy and cheap

If the price of weed is restricting your ability to buy and enjoy it, then you may want to consider growing it yourself. The high cost of buying weed is often given as the main reason why people start growing it themselves. Once you have grown your own weed and realised how easy it is, you will feel reluctant to go back to buying it.

If you have never grown cannabis before the easiest way to start is probably with some autoflower seeds. These are easy to grow indoors or outdoors. Indoors, you can grow an autoflower seed in around 10-11 weeks. If you do well you may quite easily get 50-100g per plant. Even with the cost of buying a grow light, tent, extraction fan/filter and nutrients, your first cannabis grow will probably pay for itself.

Growing weed from feminised cannabis seeds is also a straightforward experience with modern cannabis genetics. Indoor growers of feminised seeds just need to reduce daily light hours to 12 in order to induce bloom in a feminised seed variety.

Many people also get great results growing cannabis outdoors or in a greenhouse. You can use either autoflowering cannabis seeds or feminised seeds. Yields can be very high, several hundred grams per plant are quite possible. You can save yourself lots of cash and grow a years supply of cannabis from just a few cannabis seeds.

Time to discover our biggest yielding cannabis strains

If you do decide to grow your own cannabis you will join the millions that already grow their own cannabis around the world. Cannabis is easy to grow. You can buy cannabis seeds easily online and select next day delivery.

Companies like Dutch Passion, which began in the 1980’s, have enjoyed many decades of successful cannabis breeding. During that time they have won numerous cannabis cups and made several breakthroughs. This includes Dutch Passion being the first to invent feminised seeds and the first (alongside the CBD Crew) to sell CBD rich seeds. Recently Dutch Passion became the first cannabis seed company to offer cannabis seeds rich in THCV and CBG.

If you want to grow your own cannabis all you need do is decide which type of cannabis seeds to buy and grow. The following articles may be very useful.

Heavy yielding strains guarantee you a heavy harvest. But you may be a connoisseur that really enjoys an exquisitely enjoyable terpene profile and taste. If so, you may be interesting in trying some particularly fruity tasting strains.

Whether you buy your weed or grow it yourself, make sure you enjoy the best quality you can!

Read on if you are keen to find out more about the different amounts of weed that are commonly purchased as well as their official (and slang!) names.