Here’s what a gram of cannabis costs in cities around the world

Published on January 30, 2018 · Last updated July 28, 2020

The world’s most expensive gram of cannabis can be yours for $32.66 on the illicit market in Tokyo.

Want something legal and cheaper? Head to Quito, Ecuador, where the same weight of plant matter can be had for $1.34—and you can possess up to 10 grams without running afoul of the law.

Those are the highs and lows according to a 2018 cannabis price index released Wednesday morning by Seedo, the German company that manufactures small-scale hydroponic grow devices.

Seedo’s team of data experts selected 120 cities around the world—in countries where the plant ranges from highly illegal to adult-use legal—and surveyed street prices, store prices (where legal), and annual consumption totals.

One lesson seems fairly obvious from the data: Regulated legalization generally drives prices down for the consumer, but not always and everywhere. The least expensive cities tend to be in partially legal nations (Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay), and the most expensive cities are all illegal—except Oslo, although they (or rather, Norway) just decriminalized last month.

Top 10 most/least expensive global cities

Illustration: Elysse Feigenblatt / Leafly. Data source: Seedo 2018 Cannabis Price Index

Highest/lowest prices in the US

Sorry, Washington, DC. You voted for adult-use legality years ago, but Congress won’t let you implement any regulatory process that would allow legal farming and sales. You can possess cannabis legally, but it’s really hard to obtain it. And it’s expensive: $18 a gram!

Meanwhile, the power of a legal regulated market has proven to be a boon to consumers in Denver and Seattle, where a gram goes for less than $8. (Although we know some stores that sell it for $6.)

Illustration: Elysse Feigenblatt / Leafly. Data source: Seedo 2018 Cannabis Price Index

Real talk: Who smokes the most?

No contest. New York City, you are the king. Seedo’s data team estimated the Big Apple’s consumption rate at 77.44 metric tons per year, nearly twice the intake of the second city, Karachi.

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Meanwhile, in Singapore, where cannabis is extremely illegal, the entire city consumes only about 44 pounds of the stuff per year. And, frankly, we’re a bit surprised to find only 0.44 metric tons of consumption in Reykjavik, a very hip and happening town. Then again, the city only has 123,000 people. Still, New York’s per-capita consumption works out to about one-third of an ounce per person. The residents of Iceland’s capital consume a little less than half that.

Illustration: Elysse Feigenblatt / Leafly. Data source: Seedo 2018 Cannabis Price Index

Further findings

Seedo’s engineers have developed personal indoor growing machines that allow home gardeners to grow cannabis at home, “avoiding pesticides and taking ownership of their personal supply,” says Uri Zeevi, Seedo’s chief marketing officer. “We believe that by understanding the cost of weed around the world, we can help to educate smokers about the potential financial benefits of hydroponic growing technology.”

Zeevi noted 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. By removing the criminal element from marijuana, governments will then be able to more safely regulate production, take away power from underground gangs, and generate huge tax revenues.”

More findings from the survey:

  • Boston has the most expensive cannabis of all the cities where it’s legal, at $11.01 per gram, while Montevideo, Uruguay, has the least expensive, at $4.15. (Although possession is legal in Boston, it’s not yet legal to grow or sell for the adult-use market.)
  • While Tokyo, Japan has the most expensive cannabis of all cities where it’s illegal, at $32.66 USD per gram, Jakarta, Indonesia, has the least expensive, at $3.79, despite being classed as a Group 1 drug with harsh sentences such as life imprisonment and the death penalty.
  • Based on the average US cannabis tax rates currently implemented, New York City could generate the highest potential tax revenue by legalizing the adult use of cannabis, with $156.4 million per year. Singapore would gain the least, at $40,000.

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Bruce Barcott
Bruce Barcott
Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.
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