Cannabis prices are dropping like they’re hot. $6 eighths are starting to pop up in some markets, which sort of sounds like a sign of the end times, or at least the end of some era in the U.S. marijuana trade.

Pre-regulation, the standard price for an eighth of good weed usually went from between $40 and $60, depending on where in the country you were. Now, especially in areas with legal or medically legal cannabis, that price has gone down.

But now shockingly low prices are popping up, nowhere more so than in Portland, Oregon. There, an ounce will go for the same price which used to fetch you only an eight of an ounce.

The Bargain-Hunting Grounds, a Portland pot shop, sells some ounces for as little as $40 per ounce, with an ounce of shake going for only $28.

So what exactly is going on and can the cannabis industry survive it?

According to Leafly, the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research group that’s done all kinds of good and evil work for the government over the years, predicted that “one day it would be given away like ketchup packets at a burger joint.”

Part of what’s going on, according to RAND, is that we actually used to pay too much for cannabis. That’s because of what’s called a “risk premium” which consumers pay for illicit goods in order to compensate their supplier for the risk involved in criminal activity.

Now that it’s not illegal, no risk premium. But also, there’s probably just too much goddamn weed out there. After a switch from small farms to industrial cannabis growing, Oregon now has an absurd surplus of cannabis which the Oregon Liquor Control Commission says would take six and a half years for the state to smoke.

Photo via Flickr user Dominic Milton Trott

Natalie