Most collectors already view price guides in general with a grain of salt, if not out-and-out suspicion. I have yet to find an antique dealer who's been able to obtain their stated prices. Maybe one person in New York City was willing to pay such a price, but that doesn't mean someone in the Midwest will.
The author of this book is a museum curator and NOT a dealer trying to sell his products. The reader therefore will find it refreshing that prices stated here are based on what customers are realistically paying for such items.
And instead of trying to list each and every product that contained Cannabis (at the time of this writing more than 700 brand/trade-name products have been identified), this book gives the reader the information needed to locate, identify and price them.
However, the reader should be warned: the wide price range (between the low and high ends) that collectors are willing to pay can be a cause of great frustration. For example, a "Handy Corn Plaster" with Cannabis Indica container (see chapter 6) can realistically sell for between $20 and $125. (At $25 it will sell the next day; priced at $100 dollars, expect it to sit in your antique mall for awhile.) But maybe we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. Most of us have heard the expression:
"Something, anything, is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it--- NOT, what the seller says it's worth."However this expression, while technically sound, also begs the question, "How much is that?"
Were the subject at hand almost anything other than Cannabis antiques, the reader would be asked to do a little comparison-shopping and see what other (similar) antiques are selling for in your area. However, due to numerous technical as well as political factors (as an eloquent Libertarian friend of mine so bluntly puts it), "For Cannabis . . . that approach simply ain't gonna work."
WHY? Because unlike any other kind of Antique, a force totally outside of the control of the free market is at work, YES, you guessed it, ---the Narc's!
THE NARC'S - THEIR EFFECT ON THE FREE MARKET:
FIGURE-1 - Prices Vs Time
[M] - Major (meaning high profile] Arrest or Trial
[N] - Prices under normal conditions
[X] - Multiplication factor
With reference to Figure 1; Because of the novelty fact, like old medical bottles that once contained Cocaine, Heroin, Opium etc., Medical Cannabis Antiques normally sell for between two to fifteen times normal value.  The times X2 figure is paid by smart collectors [like you] who are reading this book and know what and where to look for. While the X15 are normally only paid by stupid first time buyers, the ones who go; "Oh WOW, Hey Look, It's Medical Cannabis, WOW, I Didn't Know It Was Actually Used In Medicines." However, these guys usually STOP paying X15 prices as soon as they find out how common Medical Cannabis actually was --- Like as common as aspirin is today. Hmmm! -- What is it that W.C. Fields once said, "Never Give a Sucker An Even Break." [Ha, Ha, that's just a joke]
But seriously speaking, I've personally have noticed a rather disturbing trend. That the price of Cannabis Medical Antiques [which normally hovers about the X3 -to X4 area] goes way, way up along with major high profile Medical Marihuana arrests, trials etc. And as can be seen from the following chart, it also goes back down again as time goes on and people forget. Again, a disturbing trend.
The table above [Figure 1]  depicts [vertical] the price of Cannabis Antiques, as a multiplication factor of other antique medicines of comparable age and preservation. While the time-scape, which corresponds to Major (High Profile) Medical Marihuana arrests or trails is depicted horizontally. Note that price of Cannabis Antiques rises, along with the press coverage, after each Medical Marihuana arrest, [to about 15 Times normal] but quickly drops back down to about X3 or X4 times normal after the publicity begins to die down.
Why collectors in general [buy when it's quit, and sell after a major bust] are not taking advantage of this fact to make a lot of money, is beyond me. But getting back to the subject, the only point being made here is that "PRICES" are indeed tied to the mystique of illegality. Which kind of puts us antique collectors in a sort of moral dilemma.
A MORAL DILEMMA:
A few years before the passage of the anti-Medical Marihuana laws, an ardent anti-narcotics crusader, by the name of Earle Rowell, wrote about a conversation he had had with a drug dealer. The conversation went as follows:
DRUG DEALER: I tell you, Marihuana is the coming thing.And while many of us may not like Drug Dealers, technically he was 100% correct. Even modern-day Drug Dealers seem to agree. I'll never forget speaking with a Libertarian who was running for office as the conversation of campaign contributions came up.
From Drug Dealers -- NO -- "They won't donate, at least not to Libertarian candidates. . . . You see they seem to sense that their profits are tied to the illegality of their product. . . . . so the last thing on earth that they want is to legalize it."To add emphasis to this point, let's ask ourselves a simple question: Ever wonder what a pound of Cannabis would cost if it were legal? The answer is between $35 (poor quality stuff) to $100 for a good pound of Medical Marihuana.
The way I figured it out is as follows: I looked up a series of medical bulk herbs sold openly in 1931. Herbs such as Parsley, Passion flowers (no I don't know what that is), Peppermint, Rhubarb (no joke, rhubarb), Cascara Saqrada, etc. Next, I looked up the same herbs and noted what they were selling for then and now. [Note roots were compared with roots, leafs with leafs etc.]
Next, doing a little math, [dividing the present day price, by the 1931 price], I came up with a cost increase rate of between X-18 [low end] all the way up to X-50 at the top end. As one pound of Cannabis was selling [wholesale price] for $2, I figure that using the worst case scenario the present day price would [at most] be $100, but it could be much less.
Once more, the point being made here is this: The illegality of Medical Marihuana today adds not just to the profits of unscrupulous individuals, but also to the mystique and value of pre-1937 Cannabis medical antiques today.
Example: In California a pound of high grade Medical Marihuana, costs about $4,000 (or so I have been told). The office of the Drug Czar, claims that the cost is only $2,000 for same. Either way, it's a long way off from the estimated $100 per pound if legal --- Man someone is making some money off of this.
RE-LEGALIZATION -- WHAT WILL IT MEAN:
ITS EFFECT ON PRICES OF CANNABIS ANTIQUES:
Will Cannabis Ever Be Re-Legalized?
Should that ever happen, How Will it effect Antique Cannabis Prices?
Leaving morality aside for now and taking a somewhat more business like approach toward the matter. As the novelty (and thus the added value), surrounding Antique Cannabis medicines is due mostly to our present day narcotics laws, the above two questions deserve strong consideration.
To answer the first question; ‘Will Medical Cannabis ever be re-legalized?’ ANSWER: In my humble opinion, the answer is NO! At least not in our lifetimes, and I will tell you why.
Part I - The National Drug Enforcement Industry --- There's big bucks in it:
Not just the antique community is affected by the war, lots of people are: In fact they even have a name for it, "The National Drug Enforcement Industries," and believe me, there are big bucks in it. And while this is a subject beyond the topic of this book, still it would be worthwhile to go over some examples (but only a few). [MORE]
Part II - The War on Blacks --- Alive and well:
“The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.” -Thomas Paine, Founding Father [MORE]
Part III - Civic Organizations --- Their lack of courage:
How many civic/service clubs/organization took part in the Reefer Madness dis-information campaign? The list would be endless, and a subject best left for our sister museum [www.ReeferMadnessMuseum.org], however, the important question now is -- What are these groups doing TODAY, at this present time, to rectify the situation. Answer: Nothing. [MORE]
Part IV - The Narc's and Big Time -- CENSORSHIP:
AND as if what has been said elsewhere is NOT ENOUGH to convince you; -- Just look at the steps the narcs have/are taking to suppress ALL modern day scientific studies on Medical Cannabis. No way its ever going to obtain FDA approval the way things are going. [MORE]
Now to answer that second question:
What if the unthinkable Happened?
As already established -- old antique medicines that contained, what we now term, “Control Substances” such as Heroin, cocaine, Opium etc., command a price premium. However, due to all the hullabaloo over medical Marihuana; (it seems that a lot of Cancer victims are demanding the right to use it), medical antiques that contained Cannabis command a super premium --- X3 -to- X15 times Normal. BUT as was seen from Figure I, this [ EXTRA ] price seems to be subject to its present day illegality (thus novelty). Without the publicity generated by the high profile cases, the prices drop substantially.
I guess the case can be made; that Cannabis Antique collectors should do anything and everything to keep Cannabis Illegal, and Cancer victims and other patients away from Cannabis and . . . .
However issues of morality do seem to come into play. Do we do the right thing, or Make Money. Hummm! What would Jack Benny say?
1B.5 - MECHANICAL FACTORS /CONDITION:
---- and Other Considerations Affecting Price:
Let us look at some of the factors that shape/determine prices and why they are or are not relevant:
However, when dealing with Cannabis antiques this in not necessarily the case. Obviously, condition plays some role, but not nearly as much as its historical ability to "tell its story." For example, the Piso's bottle (found on page 15-6) with its torn label, is worth almost as much as one with a complete label. Why? Because there is still enough of it left to tell its story. And that is the key, the most important factor determining its price --- its ability to tell its historical story.
On the other hand, there are some factors that very much do affect the pricing:
In addition, unlike other antiques, numerous political factors (which affect pricing) come into play. As that Libertarian friend of mine so eloquently put it; "When it comes to Medical Cannabis antiques, the free market is broken." And unfortunately, I must concur with her assessment. There's simply too much government interference for the free hand of the free market to set prices.
Every time, a modern day medical patient is arrested for cannabis possession, (especially in high profile cases) both the price as well as the interest in Cannabis medical antiques peaks way up. So much so, that I for one believe that if Cannabis were re-legalized tomorrow their prices would drop through the floor (and keep on going) leaving only true antique historians as collectors. But fear not investors, I've been assured by federal authorities, at the highest levels, that this simply won't be happening anytime soon.
And while one can think of the narcs (unless you’re a cancer or other medical patient) as a positive force in the Antique Cannabis World, they also have a dark side associated to them.
Somehow, I for one find it hard to believe that this collective amnesia just happened on its own. But, if the narcs have made historical information difficult to obtain, they've made it even more difficult to obtain present day information on the subject. We know for a fact that starting in the seventies (with knowledge at the highest levels) the federal government sent out its agents to Colleges and Universities demanding/requesting that all modern day studies about Cannabis be pulled off their shelves. And, to this country’s shame, we know for a fact that some studies were pulled. It has even been alleged that numerous antique malls were visited by narcotics officials in the early 1980's - their purpose, to buy and then destroy Cannabis antiques.
Whether this last accusation is true or not (and I believe that it is) is irrelevant. The Point Being Made is this - the free market doesn’t work because it's not being allowed to do so. Therefore, how are prices determined? The answer is simple, without a free market at work we can't. And that is why this book doesn't give fixed prices. Instead, it gives ranges within which the seller can realistically consider pricing their antiques. And so the question now becomes, “Where did those ranges come from?”
The lower end is set for a quick sale, while the upper end assumes that one is willing to leave it in an antique mall for a period of six months. But be aware that these ranges can vary greatly from one end to the other. In order to understand how these ranges were determined, one must look at the three  basic (or commercial) ways that dealers have of selling their antiques
(2) National Sales/Internet Web sites: Although internet web sites have long ago replaced printed catalogs, the process remains essentially the same. The seller lists with a national dealer, who then lists the object for sale through that company's sales network. This method allows the seller to set, and therefore obtain, the highest prices possible for their antiques. I In fact, with adjustments for other factors, this is where the high end of the price ranges were obtained. But it has been my experience that sometimes prices are set so high that the product just sits there and goes nowhere. In addition, the seller can expect to pay somewhat higher then normal commissions.
(3) Local Antique malls give the seller the advantage of being able to set, and obtain, the highest prices. But they limit the potential buyer to only local people. This causes no end of consternation for sellers trying to set prices, as they will vary widely from region to region.  New York and California are notorious for high prices, while the Midwest is known for much more reasonable prices. And for reasons already mentioned, it's next to impossible to establish local prices.
1B.6 - WORKING EXAMPLES:
To help avoid either extreme let me close this section by giving the reader a couple of examples of my own pricing criteria: But first let's look at a BAD example:
EXAMPLE: A buyer wants to buy a Piso's cure bottle. The following is how he would determine the prices.
All fine and well for most (normal) antique price guides, the type that make the authors very rich etc., but is all but worthless when dealing with Cannabis antique's.
To begin with, it sets prices based SOLELY on the antique's physical condition; TOTALLY IGNORING its novelty factor. And it is the novelty factor that constitutes well over 200% of its value. Next, it sets value based in present day US dollars, which given today's potential for high inflation may quickly make it worthless in future dollars. Even creeping inflation quickly makes such figures irrelevant.
Which is why this book avoids giving or setting fixed prices. So lets look at some more practical examples, one that you can use to determine a real world price:
1B.7 - WORKING EXAMPLES: (well sort of) :
ASK Antique Andy:
Dear little old lady: First, do you have any friends with money? In many cases, I have found that friends who, for what-ever-reasons, cannot give or lend you money; CAN however buy things from you -- and at the fair market price. Barring that, (because you need the money right away), your best bet is to sell your bottle via an internet auction website. However, as this represents the lowest (price-wise) way of selling your antique, you may want to first check on what similar items have been selling for on that particular site. I wish you the best of luck.
Dear Antique Andy: I'm a used bookstore owner and have just come across an old pharmaceutical company's, 'Price and Product Catalog,' which contains numerous references to Medical Cannabis products. Anyway, how much is it worth?
Dear Bookstore owner: You're probably already familiar with websites such as www.abeBooks.com, which have pretty good internal search engines. You can look around and see what others are selling their books for, and I don't think I need to tell you to look for books of similar condition and copyright date etc. But be careful, some people out there are asking for very un-realistically high prices. Note that those books don't sell very fast either.
Dear Antique Andy: A friend of mine is selling two cannabis tincture bottles, one manufactured by Parke-Davis, the other by Sharp & Dohme. Both bottles appear to be in similar physical condition, with labels intact and manufactured at around the same time. In fact, just about everything from the color of the bottles to their size is the same. QUESTION: So why does the Parke Davis bottle command between $200 to $1,500 dollars, while the Sharp & Dohme only between $75 to $375 dollars max?
Dear Friend: The answer is simple. Numerous articles were published by Parke-Davis on their products and thus much is known about them, while Sharp & Dohme made little reference to their product. In other words, the buyer of the Parke-Davis bottle is actually buying a piece of history, while the buyer of the Shape and Dohme bottle is only buying a bottle. Although one must admit, between $75 and $350 is still good price.
Dear Antique Andy: I'm new to the world of antique Cannabis collecting, how do I know how much is a fair price?
Dear Mr. New-to-it-all: First join the club. As you can see from the discussion above, unlike normal antiques, prices are set by novelty factors which can vary greatly. So maybe your question should really have been, how much is the fair price at any given time? A question which is hard to answer.
Your best bet is to first (before you buy) learn as much about the subject as possible. This book is a good place to start. Next, every now and then, take notice of what other people are paying in internet auction and antique store sites. After a while you'll get the swing of it. Last of all, try to buy cheap but remember as a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay at least 2 to 4 times as much for an antique Cannabis bottle as you would for a similar antique without it.
Dear Antique Andy: For reasons of my own, I want to BUY a specific Cannabis Bottle of Chlorodyne -- specifically manufactured by Parke-Davis and Co. Where can I physically go about finding one, and how much will it cost?
Dear Mr. Picky: Wow, this is a hard one. Every now and than I seen this kind of bottle offered for sale, but it's catch as catch can. To my knowledge, at this time, there are NO data bases of who is selling what. Thus it will be up to you to just scan the Internet and hope for the best.
You can also check with Antique shops (some of them have good internet websites), but be warned that they will usually charge the highest prices, especially after they find out that your are after a specific brand name. As for the exact price, the only thing that I can recommend is that you look at those being offered for like products and adjust accordingly.
Dear Antique Andy: I've found an old newspaper from the late 1920's, with an ad for a corn medicine with Cannabis in it. How much is such a paper worth?
Dear Newspaper Finder: You're not going to like this, but for whatever reasons (I suspect because of the boring nature of the ads), old magazine,/newspaper Cannabis advertisements don't do much to increase price . However, they do help to move/sell the object as they add some novelty.
Dear Antique Andy: I have some antique Cannabis medicines that I will be selling soon. I'm in no hurry to sell them and while I don't expect to make a fortune I do want to get a fair price for them. How do you recommend that I go about selling them?
Dear Smart Seller: First even before you put them out for sale, try to obtain as much info as you can (old ad's, medical journal articles etc.) about your antiques. Also, and very important, try to track down the history behind YOUR specific antiques; where did it come from, who owned it before you, etc., in many occasions collectors are more interested in the story behind the antique as oppose to solely the antique for its own sake.
As you have some time on your hands and want to get a good price, I suggest an antique mall or shop. Some will allow you to leave in on consignment for as little as 10% etc. If that is not possible, there are numerous Internet antique stores now that would be all too happy to sell it for you. Check around and see which one can offer you the best deal. Be prepared to furnish a couple of quality photos of your antique.
Dear Antique Andy: I recently bought a box full of old prescriptions (era 1900's) and found some prescriptions for Cannabis. Are they worth anything?
Dear Prescription owner: The answer is YES, but not that much. The problem is this, starting in the latter part of the 19th Century, numerous State (and later Federal) regulations required pharmacists to maintain records for certain drugs for a unit of time, usually two years. But whether two or twenty years was irrelevant, druggists simply found that the easiest form or record keeping were the prescriptions themselves. AND in many cases these were simply kept in an old box up in the attic somewhere, which seldom, if ever, got thrown away. Anyway, to make a long story short, this now means that old prescriptions are quite common, thus of little financial value.
My suggestion is that you find a simple paper frame and frame them. Antique malls usually will allow them to be sold on consignment because they take up little wall space and act as an attention getter. Oh, try asking for $25 and allow yourself to be talked down to $20, otherwise it's not worth the trouble.
Dear Antique Andy: There's an old Apothecary Jar, being offered for sale that I would love to buy, BUT, I'm scared that it's a FAKE. What do you suggest?
Dear Ms. Concerned: You have every reason to be concerned, (I myself have been taken in by the way), as you can see by one of the chapters in this book, the only way to protect yourself is to know your subject. Literally, Knowledge Is Power. And don't be afraid to ask the seller a lot of questions about how She obtained it.
 Normal is defined as any comparable antique medical container [bottle, jar, box, etc.], in similar condition. This assumes of course that the container did not also contain any other [what we would not call control substance] of interest such as opium, cocaine, heroin, etc., which also command special pricing.
 The table [Figure 1] was put together by the author solely from personal observations. However, I believe it to be pretty accurate.
 "On the Trail of Marihuana -The weed of Madness" by Earle Albert and Robert Rowell 1939 - Also another pamphlet. Marihuana--The Weed of Madness, The Killer Drug 1938 by Earle Albert Rowell
 Source: Andrew L. Shapiro, "Challenging Criminal Disenfranchisement Under the Voting Rights Act: A New Strategy," 103 Yale Law J 537-566 (Nov 1993).
 "What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs" 1988-1998 -- Prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy Dec. 2000 [Prepared by: Abt Associates, Inc.]
- The actual article is as follows:
"S.F. CHAMBER STARTS MARIHUANA DRIVE"
Sale of marihuana to children in grammar and high schools will be the object of a study and campaign by the crime prevention committee of the San Francisco Junior Chamber of Commerce, it was announced yesterday by Don Rozzano, member of the committee.- I have deliberately left out such word-of-mouth ways as local bottle and/or antique clubs, antique trade shows etc., because they have a tendency to include too many of one's own personal friends to which one is inclined to lower the price or (at the other extreme) the professional dealer who thinks that someone in New York paid X, Y, or Z for this antique and so should you etc.
- As an aside, I have always wondered why someone doesn't make themselves a good living by buying antiques in the Midwest and shipping them to California antique malls.
- Almost all medical school libraries have an archival section, or you can obtain one of the museum's CD-Roms. We have scanned hundreds upon hundreds of medical journal articles as well as advertisements.
- http://www.sentencingproject.org, & http://www.hrw.org/
 - The narcs' did give out permits to do Safety research on Cannabis, but it is a historic fact that they never allowed for any kind of FDA approval type of research to be done -- NO WAY.
- From Project Censored - Sonoma State University 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928 firstname.lastname@example.org
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