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Three Facts About Marijuana Prices

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  • Clements, Kenneth W.

Abstract

Australians are among the largest consumers of marijuana in the world, and estimates show that their expenditure on marijuana is about twice that on wine. In this paper we analyse the evolution of marijuana prices in Australia and show that they have declined in real terms by almost 40 percent over the last decade. This decline is far above that experienced by most agricultural products. Why has this occurred and what are the implications? The extensive adoption of hydroponic techniques in growing marijuana is likely to have enhanced productivity, with the benefits passed onto consumers in the form of lower prices. We find patterns in the prices that divide the country into three broad regions: (i) Sydney, where prices are highest; (ii) Melbourne and Canberra, which have somewhat lower prices; and (iii) everywhere else, where marijuana is cheapest. We also find that marijuana prices seem to be (positively) related to real estate prices. A further finding is that the price declines have stimulated marijuana consumption by about 15 percent, inhibited drinking (marijuana and alcohol being substitutes) and led to an increase in the real incomes of users in excess of $1 billion p. a.

Suggested Citation

  • Clements, Kenneth W., 2003. "Three Facts About Marijuana Prices," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 57846, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare03:57846
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.57846
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    1. Clements, Kenneth W., 2004. "Three facts about marijuana prices," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), pages 1-30.
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    1. Clements, Kenneth W., 2004. "Three facts about marijuana prices," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), pages 1-30.
    2. Kenneth W. Clements, 2006. "Pricing and Packaging: The Case of Marijuana," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 2019-2044, July.
    3. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2007. "Cannabis prices and dynamics of cannabis use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 578-596, May.
    4. Mei-Hsiu Chen, 2009. "UNDERSTANDING WORLD COMMODITY PRICES Returns, Volatility and Diversification," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 09-03, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    5. Xueyan Zhao & Mark N. Harris, 2004. "Demand for Marijuana, Alcohol and Tobacco: Participation, Levels of Consumption and Cross‐equation Correlations," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(251), pages 394-410, December.
    6. Clifford F. Thies, 2012. "The Relationship Between Enforcement and the Price of Marijuana," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 28(Fall 2012), pages 79-90.
    7. Kenneth W. Clements & Yihui Lan & Xueyan Zhao, 2005. "The Demand for Vice: Inter-Commodity Interactions with Uncertainty," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 05-30, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    8. Kenneth W. Clements & Xueyan Zhao, 2005. "Economic Aspects of Marijuana," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 05-28, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    9. James Fogarty, 2004. "The Own-Price Elasticity of Alcohol: A Meta-Analysis," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 04-01, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    10. Zhao, Xueyan, 2003. "Drugs as a Rational Choice: Preliminary Explorations of Marijuana Consumption in Australia," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 58276, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    11. Adam J. Davis & Karl R. Geisler & Mark W. Nichols, 2016. "The price elasticity of marijuana demand: evidence from crowd-sourced transaction data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1171-1192, June.

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