Now that the movement of recreational cannabis has caught fire, legalization is surging around the globe. What travelers want to know is how much will they be charged per gram when they stumble into a dispensary? According to the 2018 cannabis index – if you are planning an herb trot around the world, you can legally buy your weed for as low as $4.15 per gram in Uruguay or as high as $18.08 per gram in Washington D.C.
You should note here that the prices reflect the economic status of the area, Washington D.C. being one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. and the world. But it also reflects quality. Uruguay sells the same backyard grass you might have found lying in a bus station in San Francisco back in the 60’s whereas D.C. boasts some top-shelf hydroponic (or as Snoop would call it, “Chronic”). But then, D.C. isn’t the only place where supreme green is growing so it comes down to a combination of quality and economics – like with wine, the most expensive doesn’t necessarily equate to the best product.
Across this planet, cannabis is grown everywhere like any other herb. And it is consumed even in places with the strictest laws like Singapore, where it is highly illegal. The most expensive gram of weed you can buy is illegally sold in Tokyo, Japan for $32.66 and the cheapest is decriminalized up to 10 grams in Quito, Ecuador for $1.34 per gram. That’s one heck of a leap. Generally, cannabis is more expensive in Eastern Asia with much stricter laws whereas in South America, you probably won’t have any trouble running into native grass.
The Price of Weed (Per Gram and Ounce) Around the World
The cities focused on in this chart focus on the prices around the globe where cannabis is acquired legally or medicinally sandwiched between the Japan and Ecuador.
So, if you are still planning that green glob trot, Uruguay may be your best bet pricewise, though, some of the best green is coming out of Canada and the West Coast of the U.S for a much more reasonable price than the East Coast in D.C. and Boston.
Expert Suggestion: You might consider a road trip from Vancouver to L.A. to keep it cheap and chronic.
Some Laws Are Unclear
Heading to a place where “it’s complicated”? Know the laws. In India, it is kind of legal but also considered illegal. On the Holi Festival, cannabis is served in a drink called Bhang and is commonly used for worship rituals. In Spain, weed is legal but isn’t legal to sell so dispensaries have found a work-around. You’ll have to consult a local or know a guy in Barcelona, but it is widely used and seldom or not at all regulated.
In the UK? Yea, they are working on it. In February of this year, the bill to make cannabis legal medicinally was sabotaged by a filibuster and has been rescheduled for July 7 2018. TBD for all the green-loving Brits for now.
Below, you can see the breakdown of recreational versus restricted laws of cannabis.
Price of Cannabis with Restricted Laws or Medicinal
Price of Legal Cannabis (or Mostly Legal)
Prices Change Frequently
Canada just got hit with an 8% price drop this year from around $7 to $6 per gram with the legalization of their market. Luckily for producers, Canada’s new perspectives lay abroad where they can sell more of their product by importing Canadian grass for a slightly higher price.
Germany is on the rise with a growing medical market, though their prices are soaring high because of a shortage of product. Why is that? Well, the market just opened up for importing but the laws are strict, and the floodgates have stopped for paper-pushing and official stamping that needs to be done before the Germans can have their fix. Stay tuned for falling prices projected to come next year in 2019.
The ABCD index showed an interesting chart about the most consumption of cannabis around the world by ton, though it was not per capita and, therefore, was a little deceiving. With New York coming in with the most consumption of 77.4 tons, it is worthy to note hear that New York City has a population of 8.62 million people compared to L.A. who ranked at #4 with 36.06 tons and 3.98 million inhabitants. When I crunched the numbers, they put New York City at a consumption rate of 8.14 grams per person and L.A. at 8.22 grams per person. San Francisco didn’t even make the top consumption list, which is why I did this calculation in the first place. It’s a small city with a population of 805,000 but consumes a lot of cannabis with the average citizen consuming 8.85 grams. Deception in numbers is a common thing. Editor’s note: Do the math.
Price & Quality Matter
At the end of the day, the price you pay per gram must be measurable by your preference of quality, availability and access. For cheese on the cheap, it’s Uruguay. But for decent prices and high-quality as well as robust variety, it’s Canada and the West Coast of the U.S. Prices can be even cheaper for holidays, celebrations, random sales and promotions. Even first customers usually get a discount or gift with their purchase. So, if you are trying to hit up as many dispensaries as you can, you’ll probably walk away with a bunch of free stuff. Taking the numbers into consideration is important when making smart purchases. It is strongly suggested to do you research and weigh your taste and tolerance with your budget.