Wouldn't it be great if you could hit up any dispensary, ask for a quart of Wedding Cake, and know exactly how much it costs even before looking at the price tag? Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen.
Why? It is a bit complicated.
While some dispensaries are simply marking up their products, we need to keep in mind that one strain from ABC may be priced differently from XYZ due to several other factors. It is important to remember that not all flower is created equal!
Quality is a major factor when it comes to pricing. Think Brand Name vs. Dollar Store quality. Generally, higher prices mean higher quality. You may notice cannabis dispensaries have product grading like AAAA, or even AAAA+, and this can be a good indicator of bud quality. Keep an eye on reviews and purchase a smaller amount if you are still uncertain!
Strain rarity is also a factor in pricing. Occasionally you will see products marked as "Exclusive" or "Super Rare". This usually refers to a rare strain, something like Mike Tyson, which is a super rare 100% Indica strain. Depending on your location, strain rarity will differ, but if you have a favourite dispensary or cannabis delivery service, and they are advertising a super rare strain, jump on it!
Other factors will include THC or CBD levels, aroma, and flavour. This is where reading product descriptions is important! You will not know what you are getting if you do not pay attention! Different growing methods and environments will directly affect the THC & CBD levels, bud aroma and flavour. In terms of growing environment quality, it goes from outdoor plants at the lowest, greenhouse plants somewhere in the middle, and indoor plants at the best.
In the end, you do get what you pay for, but stick to a reputable dispensary!