General Article Taxing the UK cannabis market

Topic Selected: Cannabis
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The cannabis market

There are between 1.7 million and 3.6 million active cannabis users in the UK consuming between 620 and 1,400 metric tonnes of cannabis each year with an estimated market value of between £2.9 and £8.6 billion per annum. The best estimates are an average 2.7 million active users consuming 1,037 metric tonnes with an estimated street value of £5.9 billion per annum.

The majority of the UK market is accounted for by cannabis domestically produced in the UK, with an estimate of between 167,000 and 410,000 UK growers producing between 390 and 950 metric tonnes of cannabis per annum. The bulk of production is accounted for by large-scale commercial cultivations operating on a continuous basis, although significant quantities of skunk-type cannabis are imported into the UK from Western Europe.


Proposed control regime

A viable alternative control regime to the current prohibition policy could involve regulation and taxation of the cannabis market, involving;

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