Increased desire for high-THC products a hazard for some Alaska cannabis cultivators

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Consumers in Alaska are willing to pay higher prices for more potent cannabis, but that trend could threaten to bankrupt some cultivators, according to an article in the Anchorage Daily News.

Growers whose marijuana tests below 20% THC struggle to recoup their costs because their product won’t sell for a premium price, a lab director told the newspaper.

Further reports from the Alaska publication said the cost of a wholesale pound of cannabis in Alaska has dropped considerably, and cultivators pay a hefty excise tax on marijuana sold to retailers. That – on top of demand for high-THC flower – is making it difficult for cultivators to make ends meet.

The price difference for high-THC flower can be considerable, Jordan Huss, executive vice president of Great Northern Cannabis, a vertically integrated marijuana operation in Anchorage, told the Daily News.

Flower with 14% THC sells for only about $10 a gram, he said, but a strain with 20% THC sells for $16-$18 a gram.

Additionally, lab testing discrepancies – not unique to Alaska – complicate matters because the same product can be tested at two labs and have different potency results.