Licensing and regulating the drugs trade would require international agreement to work effectively, with purchase of drugs at source from producers in developing countries. The UK could go it alone, and licence domestic cultivation and supply, although there will always be a demand for higher quality cannabis resins (e.g. Moroccan Pollen, Charas, Nepalese, Minali etc), although this could partially be supplied by (potentially very high potency) resins produced from domestic plants.
The financial effects of legalisation and regulation of the drugs trade would have benefits Ø in excise duty, VAT, general economic growth and expenditure savings, with modest additional expenditure required to establish a regulatory authority and give the regulator effective "teeth" to tackle abuses of the system.
Revenue Implications ItemMinimumMaximumExcise Duty£ 877,970,799£ 2,862,283,586VAT£ 307,289,780£ 1,001,799,255Income Tax£ 1,000,000,000£ 1,000,000,000Savings£ 1,500,000,000£ 2,000,000,000Total£ 3,685,260,579£ 6,864,082,841New costs-£ 250,000,000-£ 500,000,000Net Benefit£ 3,435,260,579£ 6,364,082,841
Regulation and licensing of the drugs trade could reasonably be expected to result in a net gain to the exchequer of between £3.4 billion and £6.4 billion per annum.