A new global study has scanned pricing, consumption and government policy for adult-use cannabis (regulated and illicit), finding that nations of the Asian region have the highest prices in the world, while remaining home to the toughest drug laws in the world. On the flip side, the world’s lowest cost per retail gram was reported from Ecuador ($1.34/gram), Columbia ($2.20) and Paraguay ($2.22/gram)—as reported in a 120-market survey commissioned by consumer machine-grow company, Seedo of Israel.

“Germany remains the breakthrough European country which will drive greater MMJ acceptance,” notes BDS Analytics’ Tom Adams, author of the just-released “Road Map to a $57 Billion Worldwide Market.” The report, co-produced by ArcView Group, suggests South America will continue to grow as a provider of raw MJ flower and expand its drive from the current RMJ plans in Uruguay and Columbia to most of the continent. For a global market though, Adams agrees that more than 80% of the consumer/commercial market will remain in Canada and the U.S. – delivering a market of $47 billion of the projected $57 billion by 2028.

India’s policy on cannabis is “very much look the other way,” notes Adams, however, the bulk of major Asian nations (China, Japan, Singapore, Korea) remain staunchly anti-cannabis, and will likely remain that way through the next decade. Slower liberalization may come to most other European nations, with Denmark also softening thanks to Germany’s leadership. Germany has approved the sale of flower in addition to other delivery, although all MJ sales continue only through highly regulated pharmacies there.

New York City is a major non-RMJ market which might gain the most in lost taxation – Seedo estimates more than $354.5 million per year – given it draws the highest US-consumption (allowing medical but no adult-use) at 77.4 metric tons annually. The study measures taxable rates against that local state’s cigarette tax, and other Western nation cities missing out on major tax revenues remaining non-RMJ friendly would include:

  • City – Est. $ Per Gram – Lost Tax Rev./year
  • London – $9.20 – $237.4 million
  • Sydney, Australia – $10.79 – $138.4 million
  • Melbourne, Australia – $10.84 – $132.8 million
  • Toronto – $7.92 – $124.2 million
  • Chicago – $11.46 – $119.6 million
  • Berlin, Germany – $13.53 – $114.8 million
  • Los Angeles – $8.14 – $ 55.1 million
  • Houston, TX – $10.03 – $ 39.3 million

Other illegal cities with major consumption include Cairo (Egypt), Moscow, Karachi (Pakistan), New Delhi, and Mumbai, India.

Only Indonesia (at $3.79/gram, average retail) fell into the “cheap gram” category, with Japan ($32.66/gram), South Korea ($32.44/gram), Hong Kong ($27.45/gram) and Thailand ($24.87/gram) topping the most expensive side. Noting that Egypt and Pakistan continue to have the death penalty for cannabis use in law, Seedo urged re-thinking, pointing to the those government’s ability to drive away underground gangs, more safely regulate production and gain huge tax gains. Two other cheap markets were reported in South Africa ($4.01/gram), Panama ($3.95/gram), and legalized pioneer Uruguay at $4.15/gram. Denver’s average was $7.79/gram, and San Francisco $9.27/gram.

Adams added that anywhere opium is grown by government oversight, there could be a move to provide MMJ supplies. Such a deal was cut earlier this year between Canada giant Canopy Grow and one of Spain’s major opium growers (Alcaliber, SA), who plan to send flower and oils to Germany’s MMJ program. Germany has shown the world the value and safety of a regulated MMJ market, Adams said.

Find the entire Seedo report here: weedindex.io/@biggestconsumers