A German manufacturer of small indoor grow equipment called Seedo has recently commissioned a study existing and potential policy and tax structures of 120 cities around the world, focusing on cannabis consumption. Obviously, Seedo would like to see more patients and consumers growing their own at home because that is the product they sell. Usually I would hesitate to repost such surveys as they can easily be biased toward the purveyor of goods and services. However, this seems to be fairly interesting information which can and should be used to influence positive pot policies.
“Although Seedo’s technology enables smokers to get off the grid, this study considers one of the biggest byproducts of legalising cannabis—the potential tax revenue for the local government body. For this reason, Seedo decided not only to research the cost of cannabis around the world, but also to calculate how much potential tax a city could generate if they were to legalise marijuana. The study began first by selecting 120 cities across the world, including locations where cannabis is currently legal, illegal and partially legal, and where marijuana consumption data is available. Then, they looked into the price of weed per gram in each city. To calculate how much potential tax a city could make by legalising weed, Seedo investigated how much tax is paid on the most popular brand of cigarettes, as this offers the closest comparison. They then looked at what percentage marijuana is currently taxed in cities where it’s already legalised in the US.”
You can read the report for yourself here. The study yielded some interesting findings, including these:
- New York City, USA has the highest consumption rate of cannabis, at 77.44 metric tons per year.
- Boston, USA has the most expensive cannabis of all the cities where it’s legal, at 11.01 USD, while Montevideo, Uruguay has the least expensive at 4.15 USD.
- While Tokyo, Japan has the most expensive cannabis of all cities where it’s illegal, at 32.66 USD, Jakarta, Indonesia has the least expensive at 3.79 USD, despite being classed as a Group 1 drug with harsh sentences such as life imprisonment and the death penalty.
- For cities where cannabis is partially legal, Bangkok, Thailand has the most expensive at 24.81 USD, while Quito, Ecuador has the least expensive at 1.34 USD.
- Bulgaria has the highest tax rates for the most popular brand of cigarettes, at 82.65%, while Paraguay has the lowest, with rates of 16%.
- Cairo, Egypt would gain the most revenue in tax if they were to legalise cannabis and tax it as the same rate as cigarettes, at 384.87 million USD.
- Singapore, Singapore would gain the least, at 0.14 million USD, due in part to the city’s low consumption of marijuana at 0.02 metric tons per annum.
- Based on the average US marijuana tax rates currently implemented, New York City could generate the highest potential tax revenue by legalising weed, with 156.4 million USD per year. Singapore, Singapore would gain the least, at 0.04 million USD.
I would argue that Seedo might want to step up its professional game and stop calling it “weed”. Still, I think they did a good job here, and I find the results fascinating. As an extremely academically-minded country, one might expect we will start seeing more interesting studies coming out of Germany in the near future since passage of their medical cannabis law last year. Exciting times!
If you want to be part of Germany’s exciting times in cannabis, look no further than the International Cannabis Business Conference, Europe’s original B2B cannabis conference. ICBC will be returning to Berlin, Germany, this April 11-13, 2018. Get your tickets for this stellar event today!