Cannabis legalisation will bring significant revenue for New Zealand Inc by way of increased tax revenue.  This revenue would be generated through PAYE for workers and sales people, GST on sales, excise tax and corporate tax for licensed producers.

Additionally cannabis legalisation will reduce costs to the taxpayer in many significant ways.   Research, commissioned by the NZ Drug Foundation and carried out by economist Shamubeel Eaqub from Sense Partners, said New Zealand could be $86m a year better off in “societal gains” if cannabis was legalised.

Here are some of the highlights from the report.

Drug Harm Index (DHI) 2016 found costs at $109m of costs in the courts and justice system for cannabis.

$109 million in court costs

Between 2007-2011 1,050 people were sentenced for cannabis for an average of 49 days costing $12,250 per person, or $12,862,500 total.

12.8 million to imprison cannabis offenders

The average cost is over $18,000 per person imprisoned for minor drug offences.

$18,000 per person in prison on minor drug offenses

Possession of a bong (a glass pipe) is punishable by a year in jail. Based on prison costs of $250 a day, that would total $90,000 of taxpayer dollars.  From the Article: “The economics of legalising New Zealand’s marijuana market

$90,000 for prison costs


The annual cost of cannabis prohibition in New Zealand was about $400m as assessed in 2016 dissertation by University of Otago Bachelor of Laws honours student Matthew Beck.