Taxing Cannabis

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Sunday, 21st October 2018

Cannabis Prices

IDMU Survey reports big hike in 2010 UK Drug Prices


The 2010 IDMU Drugs Survey has found that prices of illegal drugs in the UK have risen sharply over the past year, continuing and accelerating the rise seen since prices bottomed out in 2006.  The increase is most notable for cannabis, where skunk prices have reached record levels and resin prices are returning to levels not seen since the mid 1990s.  Cocaine purities are at an all time low and wholesale prices at a record high.   Criminalising Mephedrone has resulted in a 50% increase in average prices compared to those offered on the internet in early 2010.


There has been a sharp increase of cannabis prices for all varieties in 2010, with even soap-bar resin being sold for up to £20 per eighth (although £10 is still the most common) with ounce prices typically £40-£80.  Higher-grade resins range from £10-£25 per eighth or £60-£200 per ounce.  Skunk prices have risen 50% at wholesale level over the past 3 years, and although £20 is still the most common deal the ‘eighth’ is now more likely to contain between 2.5g and 3g than the full weight if sold at £20, ounce prices for the stronger varieties can be as high as £280 (range £120-£280).  At casual-user level the content of a £10 bag is finally approaching the hitherto mythical gram deal long put forward as ‘average’ by police.  Imported bush prices range from £10-£25 per eighth with £20 now the most common.


Street prices now range between £5 and £20 per gram, prices at ounce and kilo level have also increased.  Methamphetamine prices vary from £10-£60 per gram.



Prices at street level remain relatively stable (range £30-£60 per gram) however purity has fallen sharply with single-figure purities now common in street-level seizures.  Wholesale prices have increased significantly at import level (up around 50%).  Although purity testing kits are available on the market there is little evidence of their use by users or dealers.


Mephedrone (MM-Cat/Miaow Miaow)

A new entry for 2010 – most survey data post-dates the drug being controlled in early 2010.  Price range £10-£25 per gram.  Warning - this drug has been associated with seizures and other severe adverse reactions and there is virtually no research as to its long term effects.  Stimulant users would be undoubtedly safer using speed or coke!



Prices again remain relatively stable (£10-£20 per rock) but purities again low.  Average rock size approx 180mg.



Tenner bags contain approx 160mg, gram prices vary from £30-£60, no evidence of increased prices despite reports of a drought in some areas.



Appears to be regaining popularity as a higher proportion of respondents reporting prices in 2010.  Typical price £5 per tab (range £2-£10) – a significant increase compared to £3 per tab 5 years ago.



Purchase of individual ecstasy tablets is now unusual, significantly more respondents in all regions reported purchase of ecstasy tablets in units of 10 or more, or purchase of MDMA powder, than reported single-tab prices for ecstasy tablets.  The average price for individual tablets rose sharply – for the first time in a decade there are significant numbers of respondents reporting prices of £10 (most commonly £3), however prices of larger units have remained relatively stable.  It is unclear whether the trend towards buying in quantity has been a result of the increase in single-tab prices or whether it has been a causal factor.  MDMA powder typically £40 per gram (range £20-£50)



Very few reports of appearance in tablet form (range £5-£20), ketamine powder more common, typically £10-£25 per gram.


Note to editors

The 2010 IDMU drugs survey closed on 6th December 2010 and results are now available.  A total of 1806 respondents completed an online questionnaire with a further 645 respondents recruited form a pop festival in South East England (total 2451 respondents).  A significant number of entries were disregarded – some arising from a campaign of disinformation by members of a cannabis users forum – where the entries were clearly made up, where there were significant discrepancies in prices at different market levels (e.g. bulk prices higher than street), where respondents had given the same price data for a number of unrelated drugs, or where duplicate/bogus entries were detected.  Where respondents gave a range of prices the mid-point of that range was entered.

© IDMU Ltd - 24 December 2010