14 November 2023

The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates the 2022 illicit cannabis market in Victoria was worth a whopping $1,020bn to $1,270bn. Legalise Cannabis Victoria believe this figure clearly demonstrates that prohibition is failed policy and justifies the need to regulate cannabis as they prepare to debate their Regulation of Adult (Personal Use) of Cannabis Bill next sitting week.

Using data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, and the most recent National Drug Strategy Household Survey, the PBO analysed the current cannabis street price as well as the total quantity of cannabis consumed in this state:  “We estimate that the value of the cannabis market in Victoria in 2022 was between $1,020 million and $1,270 million. Both estimates are based on Victorian consumption of 84,700 kilograms of cannabis”.

Without including the significant savings to be made from diverting spending on cannabis law enforcement, today’s PBO estimate offers a practical understanding of what Victorians spend on the illicit market per annum. Community sentiment to decriminalise cannabis in Victoria and in other states was reflected in the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which found 78% of respondents felt possessing cannabis for personal use should not be a crime.

In two-weeks’ time, Legalise Cannabis Victoria who requested the independent PBO advice, will debate their Regulation of Adult (Personal Use) of Cannabis Bill 2023 in the Upper House. The bill would allow adults to grow up to 6 plants per household, possess up to 50 grams and consume cannabis (but not in a public place). This bill will also allow gifting of up to 50 grams of cannabis between adults. These measures will significantly reduce illicit cannabis trafficking by organised crime. Importantly, the Bill will not allow people under 18 to access or be supplied with cannabis. 

Quotes attributable to Legalise Cannabis Victoria MP, Rachel Payne: Nearly 80% of Australians believe personal possession of cannabis should not be a crime. What the PBO report shows us, and these are conservative figures, is that the illicit cannabis industry is alive and well in Victoria.  Regulating cannabis is a global movement, let’s get this right! Let’s get profits out of the hands of criminals by allowing ordinary Victorian’s the ability to possess, grow and share personal-use cannabis.   We already have a cannabis market; it just happens to be an illicit one. People often say cannabis is a gateway drug, but the drug dealer is really the gateway to much more harmful, unknown products. Let’s get on with reducing harm by allowing the consumer to grow their own.

Quotes attributable to Legalise Cannabis MP, David Ettershank: In a cost-of-living crisis, rather than entering the illicit market, Victorians will be better off with a regulated environment, not just financially but our community will be far safer too. Why should someone risk arrest, criminalisation and their livelihood buying illicit cannabis when they could grow it legally and safely at home? This is a billion-dollar illicit market that only exists because of the failure of successive state governments to demonstrate a little political courage and reform the laws. 
Rachel Payne
Member for South-Eastern Metropolitan
Legalise Cannabis Victoria
55 St Andrews Place
East Melbourne Victoria 3002Media enquires: Adelle Mills 0407 352 889 | adelle.mills@parliament.vic.gov.au

Similar Posts