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Other Cannabis Price Data

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It is possible to compare national and some regional ounce and kilogram prices of cannabis from this study with those issued in the last few years by the National Criminal Intelligence Service (December 1997), and the Drugs Intelligence Laboratory ( February 1994), HM Customs & Excise (March 1996 and September 1996), as well as our own previous study (June 1994). However, such comparisons must be treated cautiously. The official figures do not distinguish between varieties of resin, or of herbal cannabis (other than "skunk" in recent years). The methods by which these Police and Customs data are collected and analysed are not given. Some regions appear to be quoting genuine "ounce" prices, other areas multiples of eighth or sixteenth ounce prices. They list cities, presumably police regions, without indicating what area the reports to each city come from, or how they were obtained.

The 1997 NCIS national average price for 1oz resin was 97. Our most expensive mean price, for "other/ unknown" resin was 96.25 and the mean for all types of resin was 87.14. Their ounce of unspecified herbal cannabis cost 95, ours 88.61.

In almost every case, in every region of the UK where comparisons can be made, the official figures are higher than our data from users; they tend to be too high even if the ounce prices are estimated by multiplying up 1/8oz prices. In particular, NCIS" Birmingham quote is 7 per gram for herbal cannabis, 10 for resin, and 15 for skunk (given in grams, although hardly any cannabis is sold in gram deals). This would be 24.50, 35, and 52.50 per 1/8oz respectively, which is around double the "Midlands" prices we were given, and considerably higher than any other police region cited by NCIS. The ounce prices given by most other regions convert to between 3.00 and 4.30 per gram for both herbal and resin.

Both NCIS and HMCE reports give prices over 160 per ounce nationally for "skunk". Our respondents" reports average 128, a few pennies cheaper than in 1994. In the Nottingham and Cardiff regions, NCIS figures of up to 280 per ounce for skunk are over double the mean of 125 given by our respondents from both the Midlands and Wales. The only price NCIS give for cannabis which is lower than our figures is 60-70 per ounce for "skunk" in Liverpool.

In March 1996 HMCE quoted a UK average resin price of 94 per ounce, varying between 60 and 120, and a herbal price of 105 per ounce, varying between 50 and 140. In September 1996 the resin price quoted was 114, the bush price 91. These prices were generally higher than those our respondents reported in either 1994 or 1997, but within a reasonable range of variation.

A few prices for kilograms of cannabis can be compared with the 1997 NCIS figures; oddly, our national figure for "other/ unknown" resin was higher than theirs (3029, against 1500-2400), but for both types of Moroccan and for "other/ unknown" bush, our figures lie in the middle of their range. Their "skunk" price was 3000-4000/kg, our mean was 3111.

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