Demand for legalization and regulation of cannabis has been growing around the world. Several countries and cities have already legalized the use of marijuana, but it remains illegal in most parts of the world. German data-driven media campaign outlet ABCD has released its 2018 Cannabis Price Index. Among other things, the index lists cities with the highest weed consumption in 2018.
These are the cities with highest weed consumption
ABCD’s study aims to highlight the need for legislative reforms on cannabis across the globe. Its numbers are based on estimates from the UN Office of Drugs and Crime. It lists 120 cities across the world where cannabis is currently illegal, legal, or partially legal. ABCD took into account only cities where weed consumption data was available.
The report also sheds light on how much potential tax revenue cities are missing out on by not legalizing cannabis. For the uninitiated, cannabis is a psychoactive drug obtained from the cannabis plant. It’s used for recreational or medical purposes. It is available in purified or crude forms.
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People who regularly consume marijuana say it helps them cope with stress and anxieties of life. The substance has mental as well as physical effects, giving consumers a heightened mood and stoned feeling.
These are the top 10 cities with the highest weed consumption, according to ABCD.
10- Toronto, Canada
Toronto consumed 22.75 metric tons of marijuana last year. Cannabis has been partially legalized in Canada. If Toronto legalizes cannabis consumption and taxes it at the same rate as the popular cigarette brands, it could generate an annual tax revenue of $124 million. Cannabis costs $7.82 per gram in the city.
9- Moscow, Russia
Weed is relatively expensive in Moscow at $11.84 per gram. The high prices didn’t stop the Russian capital from consuming a staggering 22.87 metric tons of cannabis last year. Moscow could generate $129 million by legalizing and taxing cannabis at the same rate as cigarettes.
8- Chicago, United States
Chicago is one of the three US cities that made it to the top 10. The city consumed 24.54 metric tons of cannabis in 2018. There are 91 headshops and 10 growshops in Chicago. The city could generate close to $120 million in annual tax revenue by legalizing marijuana. Cannabis costs $11.46 per gram in Chicago.
7- London, United Kingdom
Cannabis consumption is illegal in London. It could generate a staggering $237 million in annual taxes by legalizing marijuana consumption and taxing it at the same rate as cigarettes. London, where cannabis costs $9.2 per gram, consumed 31.4 metric tons of it last year.
6- Mumbai, India
India’s financial capital is leaving close to $90 million a year on table by not legalizing and taxing weed consumption. Mumbai is where you can get marijuana for as low as $4.57 per gram. The city consumed 32.38 metric tons of cannabis last year. India allows cultivation of cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes, but its consumption is illegal.
5- Cairo, Egypt
The capital of Egypt consumed 32.59 metric tons of cannabis last year, even though it’s ridiculously expensive at $16.15 per gram. On top of that, weed consumption is illegal in Egypt. Cairo would gain as much as $385 million in annual tax revenues if it legalizes and taxes cannabis at the same rate as cigarettes.
4- Los Angeles, United States
Cannabis consumption has been legalized in the state of California. Los Angeles has 156 headshops and 46 growshops, according to ABCD. Cannabis consumption in Los Angeles topped 36 metric tons last year. Marijuana is available for $8.14 per gram in the city.
3- New Delhi, India
New Delhi is one of the world’s cheapest places to buy weed. It costs $4.38 per gram in New Delhi. The city is losing a lot of potential tax revenue – $101 million a year, according to ABCD – by failing to legalize and tax marijuana. The Indian capital consumed 38.26 metric tons of cannabis last year.
2- Karachi, Pakistan
Cannabis consumption is illegal in Pakistan. But, according to a UN survey, it’s the most consumed drug in the country with more than four million users. The largest city of Pakistan consumed 41.95 metric tons of marijuana last year. The drug costs only $5.32 per gram in Karachi. The city would generate about $135.4 million in annual taxes by legalizing marijuana.
1- New York City, United States
New York has the highest weed consumption of any city in the world at 77.44 metric tons. Marijuana is only partially legal in New York. According to ABCD, the city could generate $156.4 million annual revenue by taxing marijuana at the average US marijuana tax rates or $354.48 million by taxing it at the same rate as cigarettes. Cannabis costs $10.76 per gram in New York.