The intolerant attitude by the Estonian authorities towards cannabis consumption has pushed the price up in the country – it’s more expensive to buy weed in Tallinn than in Oslo.
According to the Global Cannabis Price Index, compiled by the Berlin-based PR group, ABCD Agency, the Estonian capital, Tallinn, is the seventh most expensive city in the world to buy cannabis, surpassed only by Dublin, Ireland; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong; Kyoto, Japan; Seoul, Korea; and Tokyo, Japan, which is the most expensive. The average price for weed in Tallinn is USD20.98 per gram (USD595 per ounce). By comparison, the least expensive city to get high is Ecuador’s capital, Quito, where the cannabis costs just USD1.34 per gram (USD38 per ounce).
ABCD Agency analysed 120 countries – where cannabis is partially or completely legal, as well as illegal – and calculated the average price of weed in 120 cities for a global comparison.
Cannabis consumption is highest in New York City and lowest in Singapore.
The agency also compiled the list of top 10 cities who could generate the most potential tax by legalising cannabis, if taxed at the same rate as the most popular cigarette brand. Cairo, New York City, London, Sydney, Karachi, Melbourne, Moscow, Toronto, Chicago and Berlin would earn the most, according to the index. It’s worth noting, however, that in three of these cities – Cairo, London and Karachi – the weed consumption is currently illegal, while in the others, it’s only partially legal. The state of Illinois, where Chicago is, legalised recreational cannabis from the beginning of 2020.
In Estonia, the cannabis consumption is currently illegal and punishable by financial penalty, ranging from €12 to €1,200, depending on the quantity. On average, approximately 2,000 pot smokers per year get caught by the police and the average fine is €80. However, the laws are considerably tougher when it comes to growing or selling the weed in Estonia – the maximum penalty carries a five-year prison sentence.
While according to the Estonian police, cannabis is the most used drug in Estonia, the public opinion about the consumption of this natural plant remains ultra-conservative. In a country with one of the highest alcohol consumptions per capita in a developed world, 93 per cent of Estonian residents were against cannabis use and 87 per cent did not support its legalisation, according to a public survey conducted in 2016.
And, although there are an increasing number of activists advocating for a legalisation of cannabis, no major Estonian political party currently supports it.
Most expensive cities to buy cannabis (per gram):
1 Tokyo, Japan – USD32.66 g (USD926 oz)
2 Seoul, South Korea – USD32.44 g (USD920 oz)
3 Kyoto, Japan – USD29.65 g (USD841 oz)
4 Hong Kong – USD27.48 g (USD779 oz)
5 Bangkok, Thailand – USD24.81 g (USD703 oz)
6 Dublin, Ireland – USD21.63 g (USD613 oz)
7 Tallinn, Estonia – USD20.98 g (USD595 oz)
8 Shanghai, China – USD20.82 g (USD590 oz)
9 Beijing, China – USD20.52 g (USD582 oz)
10 Oslo, Norway – USD19.14 g (USD543 oz)
Least expensive cities to buy cannabis (per gram):
1 Quito, Ecuador – USD1.34 g (USD38 oz)
2 Bogota, Colombia – USD2.20 g (USD62 oz)
3 Asuncion, Paraguay – USD2.22 g (USD63 oz)
4 Jakarta, Indonesia – USD3.79 g (USD107 oz)
5 Panama City, Panama – USD3.85 g (USD109 oz)
6 Johannesburg, South Africa – USD4.01 g (USD114 oz)
7 Montevideo, Uruguay – USD4.15 g (USD118 oz)
8 Astana, Kazakhstan – USD4.22 g (USD120 oz)
9 Antwerp, Belgium – USD4.29 g (USD122 oz)
10 New Delhi, India – USD4.38 g (USD124 oz)
Read also: Justin Zehmke: The time to legalise marijuana in Estonia has come. Cover: A cannabis leaf in Estonian flag colours. The image is illustrative, courtesy of Shutterstock.