The 2018 Cannabis Price Index has been released by automatic cultivator device company Seedo, revealing the cost of marijuana in 120 cities worldwide. The report also indicated the amount of tax revenue cities could gain through legalization.
Thirteen U.S. cities were featured in the study, which was comprised of 120 cities worldwide. The cities included those where marijuana is legal, partially legal, and illegal. The price of cannabis was calculated per gram and total consumption in metric tons. The revenue potential was figured for a city were it to tax at the average U.S. marijuana rate and the rate of the most popular brand of cigarettes.
In the U.S., Washington, D.C., was found to have the most expensive cannabis in the U.S., at $18.08 per gram, while Seattle was found to have the lowest price at $7.58 per gram. The legalization of cannabis in a city did not appear to have an impact on its price.
New York was found to have the highest consumption rate of the 120 cities, so it was not surprising that it could potentially have the highest tax revenue gains if cannabis was taxed at the average U.S. marijuana rate.
“This study has revealed some incredible insights into the kind of tax revenue that legalizing weed could generate,” says Uri Zeevi, chief marketing officer at Seedo. “Take New York City for instance, which has the highest consumption level in the study at 77.44 metric tons of cannabis per year. If they taxed marijuana at the average U.S. cannabis tax level, the city could make $156.4 million in potential tax revenue per year. This is equivalent to providing nearly 3 months’ worth of free school meals to every single public school kid in New York City.”
Even cities that fell lower in rank could see significant tax revenue through legalization. Chicago could gain $52 million annually if cannabis were taxed at the average marijuana rate, and nearly $120 million if taxed at the same rate as cigarettes.
The 2018 Cannabis Price Index was put together by Seedo, producer of an automated hydroponic growing device that allows users to grow cannabis or other plants from their home. The purpose of the report was to show the need for continuous legislation and to show trends in cities that have already legalized cannabis.
“That illegal cannabis use is so high in countries that still carry the death penalty, such as Pakistan and Egypt, those in power ought to see how desperately new legislation is needed,” said Zeevi. “By removing the criminal element from marijuana, governments will then (be) able to more safely regulate production, take away power from underground gangs, and as we’ve shown in this study, generate huge tax revenues.”
The fifth highest consumer of cannabis worldwide, Cairo, could gain the most in revenue if it taxed marijuana at the U.S. cigarette tax rate. It could earn close to $385 million dollars a year if cannabis were legalized there. Its average price is $16.15 a gram, the twelfth highest in the world.
Not surprisingly, Singapore, the world’s lowest consumer of marijuana, would reap the least tax benefits if legalized, less than $250,000 annually.
Worldwide, it was found that the most expensive cities for cannabis, where it happens to be illegal, were Tokyo, Seoul, and Bangkok. Least expensive were Asuncion, Bogota, Quito, where it is partially legal, and Jakarta, where marijuana possession can be punishable by life in prison or death.