It’s come to this. Cannabis sativa, herb of choice among the flaneurs, festival-goers, and philosophers of the world, has gone all Wall Street. Straighten your tie, comb your hair, and say hello to the Cannabis Price Index.
Compiled by German hydroponics company Seedo, this newly released study compares the average price per gram of marijuana in 120 international cities. The aim is to persuasively illustrate the need for legislative reform on cannabis use around the world and to determine if there are any lessons to be learned from those cities at the forefront of marijuana legalization.
Lesson No. 1: Weed legalization offers cities a prime opportunity to cash in. One of the biggest incentives for states and cities to legalize cannabis is, naturally, the tax opportunity. (What, you thought your state politicians were all just mellowing out?) To calculate how much potential tax a city could make by legalizing marijuana, Seedo looked at the tax percentage currently paid on marijuana in U.S. cities where it’s already legal, then compared that percentage to the tax paid on popular brands of cigarettes.
Seedo CMO Uri Zeevi offers the example of New York City, where weed is only partially legal, and sells for $10.76 per gram on average.
“New York City 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 three months worth of free school meals to every single public school kid in New York City.”
Yeah, that’s probably what those politicians would do with the extra money — feed kids.
Besides offering a powerful incentive to start growing your own tax-free ganja (with the help of Seedo’s flagship product, an automated hydroponic growing device), the study is worth a look for the array of fun facts it presents. The following sampling should provide ample discussion fodder during your next safety meeting.
- New York City has the highest consumption rate of cannabis — more than double the amount consumed by the runner-up, Los Angeles.
- Tokyo, Japan, has the most expensive weed in the world at $32.66 per gram. Per gram!
- At $11.01 per gram, Boston is home to the most expensive legal cannabis in the U.S. Seattle has the least expensive at $7.58.
- The world’s cheapest marijuana can be found in Jakarta, Indonesia for $3.79 (that is, if you’re measuring the cost in U.S. dollars). It’s also classed as a Group 1 drug, which means life imprisonment — even the death penalty — for those caught buying and selling. Talk about harshing your vibe.
- Cairo, Egypt, would gain the most revenue if they were to legalize cannabis and tax it as the same rate as cigarettes. Seedo estimates the money-making opportunity at $384.87 million.
- Based on the average U.S. marijuana tax rates, New York City could generate the highest potential tax revenue by legalizing weed: $156.4 million per year. Which, as you’ll recall, they’ll almost definitely use to feed the children.
For all the details on all the cities across the world, check out the full index here.
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