State Police Are Badly Underestimating the Price of Their Weed Stash

A small sample of the 1,100 pounds of marijuana seized by police on Friday.
A small sample of the 1,100 pounds of marijuana seized by police on Friday.
Massachusetts State Police

Massachusetts State Police seized 1,100 pounds of marijuana from a stash house in a drug bust in Worcester on Friday, a supply that police said would make about $1 million on the street. That’s a bad underestimation of the weed’s potential value.

Though illegally-sold marijuana has no official or consistent price, market estimations suggest the State Police were significantly off in their estimation. The police estimate of $1 million price for about 1,100 pounds of marijuana comes out to more than $900 per pound. That’s surprisingly low given other expert estimations. In 2010, NPR interviewed a dozen growers and dealers who reported per pound values of less than $2,000.

The $1 million price appears even more misvalued when compared to recent marijuana busts in the area. Last November, 47-pounds of marijuana seized during a bust in Quincy was estimated at $120,000, or $2,550 per pound. A seizure of 300 pounds of marijuana in Canton in February 2013 was valued at more than $1 million, or more than $3,300 per pound. And Norwalk Police placed a $4,000 per pound value on 20-pounds of marijuana seized in June 2013.

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Most people don’t buy marijuana by the pound. If the state police valued the seizure by the ounce, we’re talking about millions of dollars. Last month, High Times estimated that an ounce of marijuana in the US cost just over $300. PriceOfWeed.com — a site that takes reader-submitted marijuana prices and computes the “global price index for marijuana” — puts the price in Massachusetts at around $300 for medium quality bud. Multiply that $300 per ounce price by the 16 ounces in a pound, and the price goes up to $4,800 per pound. Given that the police seized 1,100 pounds in all, they could be holding near $5.3 million of marijuana.

Unless, of course, the price of marijuana has dropped precipitously with decreased demand as students head home for the summer, in which case maybe the estimate is right on the money.