A new study on the cost of cannabis in cities around the world has ranked Dublin as among the most expensive to buy the drug.
The “2018 Cannabis Price Index” details the cost of marijuana in 120 cities – including locations where cannabis is currently legal, illegal and partially legal, and where marijuana consumption data is available.
The study ranked the cities according to the price of cannabis per gram in each city, and also estimated the potential tax each city would yield if the drug was legalised.
Tokyo in Japan has the most expensive cannabis, according to the report, at €26.13 per gram. At the other end of the scale, Quito in Ecuador apparently is the cheapest of the 120 cities in which to purchase marijuana, at €1,07 per gram.
Dublin ranked sixth in the league table, with Cannabis costing €17.30 per gram in the city.
The study – by Seedo, who are involved in the cannabis industry in countries where the growing the drug has been legalised – claimed legalising the drug in Ireland would yield €77.8 million in taxes from consumption rates in Dublin (based on current cigarette tax).
New York had the highest cannabis consumption level in the study at 77.44 metric tons of cannabis per year. The report claimed that taxing the drug – at the average US cannabis tax level – would yield the city €125 million in extra annual revenue.
Cannabis in Ireland is illegal for recreational purposes. Hopes of cannabis campaigners in Ireland were raised last year when a Government working group was set up to consider proposals for the decriminalisation of all drugs for personal use.
Decriminalisation was put forward by some as a panacea to solve Ireland's drug problems. They pointed to Portugal, which decriminalised possession of drugs in 2001, as evidence of success of the policy.
Lisbon ranked 71st on the study’s list – with cannabis costing a little more than one third of the price in Dublin, at €6.69 a gram,
Use of cannabis for medical purposes requires case-by-case approval by the Minister for Health. In December 2016, two-year-old Cork boy Tristan Forde became the first person in Ireland allowed to be treated with medicinal cannabis under a licence granted by Simon Harris.