In 2018, Delhiites consumed 38.3 tons of weed, the third highest for any city in the world, according to a study. Mumbaikars too were not far behind, as the city consumed 32.4 tons of cannabis and was ranked sixth among 120 cities for which the data was available. New York topped the chart with consumption of 77.4 tons while Karachi came second with 42 tons.
The study was done by ABCD, a data-driven media campaign outlet based in Germany that seeks to push for legalising cannabis. ABCD also creates the Cannabis Price Index to find that locations around the world are ready to embrace cannabis legalisation. With New York, LA and Chicago featured in the top ten list, the US has three cities with high consumption, the only country with so many cities in the top ten.
Legalising weed could earn Delhi nearly ₹725 crore
Besides the two Indian cities and Karachi, the other four are Cairo, London, Moscow and Toronto in that order. These are cities where cannabis consumption is not legalised. Though Toronto legalised it earlier this year.
Interestingly, Amsterdam the city that would be mentioned in probably every weed lover’s bucket list, is ranked 56th with an annual consumption of 3.6 tons of cannabis, barely a tenth of what Delhi consumed.
The study has also listed the average price of cannabis in these cities. Not surprisingly, both Indian cities are among the world’s cheapest when it comes to buying this high. Latin America emerges as the smoker’s paradise with five of the ten cheapest cities located in the continent. Cannabis is cheapest at $1.34 per gram in Quito, Ecuador. Other Latin American cities featured in the cheapest list are Bogota in Colombia, Asuncion in Paraguay, Panama City in Panama and Montevideo in Uruguay.
The price was $4.38 per gram in Delhi and $4.57 per gram in Mumbai, the world’s 10th and 11th cheapest rates, respectively. The drug was most expensive in Tokyo where one had to pay $32.66 for every gram. Interestingly, the five cities where cannabis was the most expensive were all located in East Asia, the others being Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kyoto and Seoul.
What if the drug were legalised and taxed? Delhi could raise $101.2 million (Rs 725 crore at today’s exchange rate) if the tax rate of the most widely sold cigarettes brand were applied on this drug. The corresponding figure would be $89.38 (Rs 641 cr) for Mumbai. If the average US tax rate on marijuana tax were applied, Delhi would raise Rs 225 cr and Mumbai Rs 199 cr, the study concluded.