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How Much Tax Revenue Would Cannabis Legalization Generate In Australia?

Australia is home to a legal medical cannabis industry, with regulated medical cannabis approvals in Australia reaching 304,000 in the first half of 2023. That marked a 120% increase over the same period in 2022.

“Rhys Cohen of the Victoria, Australia-based Penington Institute estimated that Australian patients spent roughly 250 million Australian dollars ($167 million) on prescription medical cannabis products in 2022.” stated MJBiz Daily in its initial reporting.

Australia is one of a growing number of countries exploring adult-use cannabis policy modernization efforts. Currently, the only countries to adopt recreational cannabis legalization are Uruguay, Canada, Malta, Luxembourg, and Germany.

Australia’s Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimates that a legalized domestic adult-use cannabis market would generate $28 billion in tax revenue in the first decade. However, researchers at The Conversation “think the PBO’s estimate is too high, and based on the current patterns of cannabis use, $13 billion is a more credible estimate.”

The Conversation estimates “that a new legalised market could attract 3.4 million cannabis users in its first year” and that “Australia consumes 441 tonnes of cannabis per year.”

The researchers at The Conversation note that the “Parliamentary Budget Office supposes a price of $16.95 per gram, of which $3.55 would be tax – 10% GST and 15% excise” and that the “Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) estimates that one gram typically costs $22.50.”

However, The Conversation indicates that “we base our estimated tax revenues on a retail price of $12 per gram, of which $2.51 would be tax” and using those figures is how they arrived at the $13 billion figure.

cannabis consumers australia the conversation

Statista lists the following regarding Australia’s emerging cannabis industry:

  • Revenue in Australia’s cannabis market is projected to reach US$2,429.00m in 2024.
  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2029) of 3.22%, resulting in a market volume of US$2,846.00m by 2029.

“The Australia legal cannabis market size was valued at USD 66.0 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.6% from 2023 to 2030.” Grand View Research states about Australia’s emerging cannabis industry.

“In July 2020, 41.0% of citizens supported legalization, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.” Grand View Research stated.

australia legal cannabis market through 2030