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2023 Overview: Price of Cannabis in the UK

uk medical cannabis
Written by Joseph Mcqueen

How much does cannabis cost in the UK in 2023? Let’s find out.

As we leave the futuristic year of 2023 and enter the flying-car ages of 2024, the cannabis market in the UK continues to evolve.

Whilst the United Kingdom are far from being forward-thinking when it comes to weed legalisation, there still remains a rife culture and a love for the substance. The industry reflects changes in legality, consumer preferences, and market dynamics. We are going to examine the general price of Cannabis in the UK, compare the costs of medical versus recreational cannabis, and discuss the regional variations in pricing. It’s important to keep up with how prices rise over the years, as well as acknowledge any slight drug legality changes – even in a stagnant place like the UK. Let’s do this. 

price of cannabis uk

2023: Is Cannabis Legal Yet?

This feels like a question that I have to ask my home nation every year, and constantly get left feeling let down. However, as a UK citizen you learn to look for the positives when it comes to drug laws. There’s a certain individuality that the UK has had for centuries, which distances it from the rest of Europe. This isn’t only exemplified through Brexit, but also with much of the decisions that the government makes and the laws that are passed. Unfortunately, this means that any progress that Europe makes in drug legalisation, does not have much of an effect on the UK. Or, if it does, it gets washed up on the shores in a much more moderate and diluted version of its original self. What does this mean? Well, at present, the UK has only legalised medical cannabis – and that was in 2018. The history of cannabis within Britain goes as follows:

“In the 1800s, cannabis was legal in the UK and throughout most of the world. At the time, it was hailed as a panacea for many illnesses… Attitudes towards the substance changed in the early twentieth century, and by 1928, it became illegal under the 1920 Drugs Act. In 1971, cannabis was classified as a Class B substance under the Dangerous Drugs Act. 

There was a brief period in the early 2000s when the prime minister, Gordan Brown, moved the substance to Class C, but this was soon retracted. Therefore, as it stands, Cannabis is a Class B drug – illegal to possess, cultivate and sell. However, if you have an NHS subscription or a Cancard, you are legally able to possess the substance. This is true in theory, but the reality is a little more disappointing. According to the NHS figures, since 2018, around 90,000 unlicensed prescriptions for cannabis medicines have been issued. Unfortunately, these are all private and expensive, with only around 5 unlicensed NHS prescriptions occurring. So, in essence, even medical cannabis is hard and expensive to get. With around 1.8 million people self-medicating cannabis in the UK, the majority are doing this through the illegal market. 

Cannabis Pricing in the UK

Knowing that most of the cannabis purchasing in the UK happens on the black market, the question still remains: how much does it cost? The truth is that it can vary, depending on the location, product, quality and seller.

Cannabis Buds

Cannabis buds are a good benchmark to look at first. The general price range for cannabis flowers in the UK can vary significantly, with consumers paying anywhere from £6 to £15 per gram, depending on the quality. Lower quality or ‘trim’ cannabis is priced at the lower end of the spectrum, while higher quality strains, often referred to as ‘top-shelf’ or ‘Cali weed,’ command higher prices. 

Low Quality

1g – £5-10

3.5g (Eighth) – £15-25

7g (Quarter) – £30-45

28g (Ounce) – £80-120

Medium Quality

1g – £8-12

3.5g (Eighth) – £20-30

7g (Quarter) – £40-60

28g (Ounce) – £140-180

High Quality

1g – £10-15

3.5g (Eighth) – £30-40

7g (Quarter) – £70-90

28g (Ounce) – £200-280

This is a rough estimate of 2023 prices of cannabis in the UK. However, it’s also important to remember that these prices will vary on location too. 

London price of Gram: around £6.70

Leeds price of Gram: around £7.40

Birmingham price of Gram: around £8.50

Manchester price of Gram: around £7.90

Glasgow price of Gram: around £7.20

Price of Hash and Concentrates in the UK

Cannabis doesn’t only come in a bud form, there are many other products that can be sold. These prices have also increased over the years. Hash and concentrates can be cheaper or more expensive than buds in the UK. 

Hash

1g – £6-12

3.5g (Eighth) – £20-40

7g (Quarter) – £40-70

28g (Ounce) – £90-160

Concentrates

1 g of concentrates such as shatter, wax or resin can cost anywhere from £25-80 in the UK in 2023.

Edibles and Weed Carts

Edibles: 500mg of sweets = £15-30

Weed Carts: 1ml cart = £45-80

Medical vs Recreational Cannabis

There is a notable difference in the price of cannabis in the UK between medical and recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis, which is subject to stringent quality controls and legal regulations, tends to be much more expensive than its recreational counterpart. In fact, some are known to pay private costs of around 50,000 a year for cannabis prescriptions – but these are in extreme circumstances. This is obviously an annual fee but the price for medical cannabis can range significantly, with some specialised products costing up to £50 per gram. Cannabis Access Clinics writes:

“Taking all this into account, the average cost of medical cannabis prescriptions in the UK sits at around £150-£250 per month for a THC and CBD inclusive prescription.”

There’s a lot of numbers flying around here – but none of them are low. This high cost reflects just how far off the UK are from offering affordable cannabis on their health service. For now, the majority of those in need of cannabis medicine will have to use the black market – where it’s far cheaper. 

The Future

As the price of cannabis in the UK continues to evolve, it’s important to consider potential future trends and how they might influence pricing in 2023 and beyond. As of now, it might look like a while away before the UK legalises cannabis. The Conservative government, who have been in power for around a decade, are far from promoting cannabis as a positive drug. In fact, the BBC reported in 2022:

“There are no plans to change the law on cannabis, Downing Street has said, after reports the home secretary was considering making it a Class A drug. No 10 said the government’s priority was “cracking down on illegal drugs and the crime they drive”.”

As it stands, the UK will need to wait for a prime minister who is less afraid and more understanding of recreational substances. For years we’ve been led by politicians who have probably never seen cannabis before – other than in Guy Ritchie films. However, if things were to change, the price may change drastically. The main goal that the UK government needs to achieve at the moment is finding a way to perfect their medical cannabis sector. Since 2018, they have still yet to offer the substance in an affordable and accessible way. This must change, otherwise millions of people will continue to be forced to access it illegally. 

price of cannabis uk

Conclusion

The price of cannabis in the UK in 2023 is at a steady level within the illegal market, mainly because this is where the majority of weed is purchased from. The main issue that the UK has is their medical, legal market. The prices are soaring, and are nowhere near accessible enough to be called a success. In essence, the illegal market is the main place in the UK for those who want to recreationally or medically access cannabis. The only way this will change, is if the government decides to change their approach and view on cannabis. Although, even if it was to be legalised recreationally, if you look at how the UK have dealt with the medical sector, there’s no way of knowing how long it would take for it to for the industry to offer anything workable. But what do you think?

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About the author

Joseph Mcqueen

Joseph is a cannabis journalist in the UK. His search and love for the truth in the cannabis industry is what drives him to write.