According to the United Nations World Drug Report (2017), an estimated quarter of a billion people, or around 5 % of the global adult population, used drugs at least once in 2015. A total of 135 countries are said to be producing cannabis (also known as marijuana) based on these indicators.
The World Drug Report (2017) only attempts to quantify the area under cultivation for a handful of the top cannabis producers. However, the UN didn’t report how much cannabis was produced in each country, therefore the following list is based on the estimates of the UN report as well as the legality of cannabis cultivation by countries.
In Indian society, common terms for cannabis preparations include charas (resin), ganja (flower), and bhang (seeds and leaves), with a milkshake made from bhang being one of the most common licit usages in India. According to the UNODC’s World Drug report in 2016, the retail price of cannabis (marijuana) in India is the lowest of any country in the world.
Cannabis in Nigeria is illegal yet the country is a major source of West African-grown cannabis and ranked the world’s highest consumers of cannabis. Cannabis is widely grown across the States of Nigeria including Ondo State, Edo State, Delta State, Osun State, Oyo State, and Ogun State.
The cultivation of cannabis is currently legal in Canada for seed, grain and fiber production only under licenses issued by Canada. In mid-October 2018, Canada will become the second nation in the world after Uruguay to legalize the drug.
Jamaica is the largest Caribbean supplier of illicit cannabis to the United States and to other Caribbean islands. However, following the success of gradual legalization in the U.S., the Jamaican government decriminalized cannabis use and cultivation in 2015.
Paraguay is a global marijuana powerhouse – the small South American country produces 9 percent of the world’s supply, according to some reports. Cannabis in Paraguay is illegal as of July 2015, but the nation is one of the world’s largest producers. It is currently, the third-largest cannabis producer in Latin America, following Mexico and Colombia.
Colombia is often caricatured as a center of cocaine production, it also plays a large role in the growth of high-grade cannabis. In the 1970s and 80s, Colombian cannabis accounted for 70% of all cannabis smuggled into the U.S.
The word “marijuana,” originated in Mexico, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the country has historically been one of the largest cannabis producers in the world. Mexican cannabis accounted for two-thirds of all cannabis consumed in the U.S., however, the recent legalization of cannabis in the U.S. has put a crimp in the Mexican market.
In 2010, the country was the world’s largest cannabis supplier, growing between 25,000 and 59,000 acres every year. Cannabis cultivation in Afghanistan has unfortunately also become a source of revenue for a terrorist group (like the Taliban) has derived significant income by taxing the growth and trafficking of illicit cannabis through its porous borders with neighboring Pakistan onto the international market.
Northern Morocco is a key production center for hashish for export to Europe, and in recent times sees an influx of European visitors heading to sample the local pleasures. While Moroccan law bans the sale and consumption of cannabis, that has not stopped farmers growing vast plantations of it, providing a living for some 90,000 households, according to official figures for 2013, the most recent available.
1. United States
In nine states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington – the sale and possession of Cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use, as of January 2018. Vermont and the District of Columbia have legalized personal use but not for commercial sale, making the United States – currently the biggest producer of cannabis in the world.