December 15, 2010

Crowdsourcing the price of Weed

In the last few years, we've seen how crowdsourcing has been employed for a range of important tasks including disaster relief in Haiti, monitoring the recent Kenyan elections, and now mapping the price of weed. This is a great example of how crowdsourcing can produce information that is simply unavailable otherwise. After all, there are no official price data on marijuana markets given its illegality.

Map from the Website
(Green = < $300 per oz; Yellow = $3oo-400 per oz; Red = > $400 per oz

Quite an interesting distribution with cost rising as one moves west from the Pacific coast (with Oregon being the cheapest). Florida shows up as a low spot as well. Both patterns are consistent with what is known about the geographies of production and distribution. Of course given the overall much lower reported prices for weed in Canada (is it subsidized?), one has to wonder if this site will only serve to further increase the US trade deficit.

We have previously done some analysis on the geographies of marijuana, if anyone wants to compare.

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