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Here’s How Much a Pack of Marijuana Joints Could Eventually Cost

How much would a marijuana cigarette cost? Since legalization in Washington and Colorado, an old joke — Marlboro Greens — has been making the rounds again, starting with an article in the satirical publication Abril Uno that claimed Phillip Morris will be introducing Marlboro Marijuana smokes.

The smokes aren’t real, but it has people thinking about what the final retail price of such a product would be.В According to Fast Company, it would cost Phillip Morris somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 on the low end to make a pack of pure-marijuana cigarettes, while mixed marijuana-tobacco cigarettes might be as cheap as $20. A production cost of $40 means thatВ a pack of the good stuff could cost the consumer up to $70-80 at retail. Premium marijuana could run up to $120, while you could grab a pack of 50-50 marijuana-tobacco cigarettes for about $40.

Wait a second . В ButВ Forbes’ Tim Worstall points out that there’s a big hole inВ Fast Company’s analysis: they “model the tax take and likely retail prices given the current producers’ prices” — i.e., what it currently costs marijuana producers in the U.S. to grow and prepare a gram of weed.В “They’re not, in any manner, trying to model or calculate producers’ prices themselves: they’re simply an assumption going into their model.” That’s a big flaw, because the marijuana industry is “highly fragmented, very inefficient and it is both of these things because it is still illegal.”

If Big Tobacco decided to dive into the weed business, the very first thing they’d do is investigate how they can bring production costs down using the same techniques they used to make machine-rolled cigarettes so cheap. In Malawi, for example, growing a kilogram of weed costs just $3. And packaging and distribution costs would be somewhat similar to regular cigarette prices, resulting in a much different estimate of a production cost of 50 cents per pack. Worstall also predicts that after liberalization of the marijuana market, the price crash will be followed by tax changes and calls for protectionism in favor of U.S. producers. All told, marijuana cigarettes could be much cheaper than Fast Company’s analysis would imply.

Will this actually happen?В That said, Big Tobacco has no plans to get involved in the marijuana business anytime soon, seeing as weed remains very illegal on a federal level. And even if that particular barrier is breached, retailers will have to jump on board selling a very controversial product which might have 50 very different regulatory regimes for each state. Meanwhile, smokers might be suspicious of Big Tobacco-produced marijuana products when buying high-quality weed at a local dispensary is a good option, and options like e-cigarettes and vaporizersВ could prove to be more popular. There’s definitely a market for such a product, but if it happens at all, it’ll be decades from now.

How much would a marijuana cigarette cost? Since legalization in Washington and Colorado, an old joke — Marlboro Greens — has been making the rounds again, starting with an article in the satirical publication Abril Uno that claimed Phillip Morris…

Has Phillip Morris Introduced ‘Marlboro M’ Marijuana Cigarettes?

Reports that Phillip Morris is bringing ‘Marlboro M’ brand marijuana cigarettes to market started as an old April Fool’s joke.

  • Published 23 January 2014

Claim

Phillip Morris has announced the introduction of Marlboro M brand marijuana cigarettes.

Rating

False

Origin

At least as far back as the 1960s, rumors have circulated that major tobacco companies were preparing to enter the marijuana cigarette market in anticipation of the imminent legalization of pot in the U.S., buying up marijuana fields in Mexico, designing new cigarette packages, and trademarking potential brand names such as “Panama Red” and “Acapulco Gold.” Such rumors were nothing more than the product of fanciful imagination and wishful thinking, but now that state of Colorado has legalized marijuana use, and more states are sure to follow, those claims no longer sound quite so far-fetched.

Those rumors of old were played upon in an article published on 2014 (and republished on 2015) by the web site positing that tobacco giant Phillip Morris had announced the company would be entering the marijuana cigarette market with a brand called

Phillip Morris, the world’s biggest cigarette producer, announced today that they will join the marijuana legalization bandwagon and start producing marijuana cigarettes. To be marketed under the brand it will be made available for sale through marijuana-licensed outlets in the state of Colorado, and Washington when it becomes commercially legal later this year.

Serafin Norcik, Phillip Morris’ Sr. Vice President for Marketing said in an interview that the company has been high on the idea of marketing cannabis, and has been monitoring the market for some time. It was only when the recent legalization initiatives — winning in Colorado and Washington — that they finally made the decision to take a leap of faith.

By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media and on other web sites, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, this article was just a spoof from the Abril Uno web site, whose name translates as “April One” (i.e., April Fool’s Day). Disclaimers on the web site’s pages note that:

Abril Uno is a satire, parody and spoof web publication. Abril Uno uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases where public figures or companies are being satirized, parodied or spoofed. Any resemblance to the truth, actual events, actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and is intended purely as a satire, parody or spoof. All articles contained herein are fiction (“fake”), untrue, and for entertainment only.

On 26 October 2015 the fake news site Now8News stole ‘s concept and published an article headlined “Philip Morris Marlboro ‘M’ Brand Marijuana Cigarettes Now For Sale In Four U.S. States,” similarly (and falsely) reporting that:

Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska residents are celebrating the release of Phillip Morris Marlboro ‘M’ Brand Marijuana Cigarettes available next month for recreational use. After a clinical research trial, the world’s largest cigarette producer, announced today that they will join the recreational marijuana bandwagon and begin the sale of marijuana cigarettes in these 4 U.S. states beginning November 1, 2015.

The web site Top Rated VIRAL republished the Now8News article verbatim, with updated dates, in September 2016.

Fake news reports that Phillip Morris is bringing 'Marlboro M' brand marijuana cigarettes to market. ]]>