Pubdate: Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Stephanie Ip
Page: A6


A new study suggests Vancouver pot smokers could generate up to $29
million annually for the province in additional tax revenue if
marijuana was taxed at the same rate as cigarettes.

The 2018 Cannabis Price Index, compiled by pot-tech startup Seedo,
looked at the cost of cannabis around the world.

The study then calculated how much additional tax revenue each city's
population of pot smokers might generate based on each city's
consumption and average marijuana and cigarette tax rates in the U.S.

On the 120-city ranking, Vancouver was found to have the
96thmost-expensive weed, at a cost of about US$6.40 per gram. With an
annual consumption of about 5.25 tonnes, Vancouver marijuana
enthusiasts could generate about US$23.4 million (about $29 million)
if weed were taxed at the same rate as cigarettes or US$6.3 million if
taxed at the same rate as pot in places where it's legal.

The Canadian government has said that each provincial authority will
be responsible for the regulation and distribution of cannabis -
including taxing products - once legislation is introduced later this

The city with the most expensive weed? Tokyo. Marijuana is illegal in
Japan, which might explain its average price of US$32.66 per gram.
That said, the city still consumes about 1.53 tonnes of weed per year.

The study found that the least expensive weed was sold in Quito,
Ecuador, where marijuana is partly legal and costs about US$1.34 per
gram. But even with an annual consumption of about 63.2 tonnes, the
South American city would generate only about a halfmillion American
dollars per year.

The report was compiled by first selecting 120 cities around the
world, in a variety of places where marijuana is legal, illegal and
partly legal and where pot-use data is available.

"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," said Uri Zeevi,
Seedo's chief marketing officer. "By removing the criminal element
from marijuana, governments will then be able to more safely regulate
production, take away power from underground gangs and, as we've shown
in this study, generate huge tax revenues."

Seedo is the tech firm behind what's being advertised as the world's
first fully automated hydroponic growing device, allowing individuals
to tidily grow their own weed or other plants at home. The machine
resembles a mini-fridge and allows for app connectivity, so growers
can check on their plants from afar and adjust growth plans as needed.

"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," said Zeevi.
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