Marijuana Revenue Calculations
I did some searching around on the internet and did not find estimates of what the total California marijuana crop was worth, so i did not of my own math.
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area report estimates 49,000 metric tons of marijuana made it to market from California in 2009. The street value of an ounce of marijuana is (according to Yahoo Answers) is $300
An ounce is 28.35 grams. This means a metric ton of marijuana is worth about $10 million. This means the total California crop is worth on the order of $500 billion.
Now what is seized is not what is sellable, so there is a significant factor – perhaps 5 fold which this number might be reduced by for the parts of the plant which have little value. But since HIDTA is saying the 49K tones is what did not make it to market, presumably this is after cleaning. So i will stick with the half a trillion dollar number, in part as well for its pure shock value.
Update: Mere days after i made this calculation Mexican authorities reported they had seized 105 tones (presumably metric) of Mexican marijuana worth US$340 million. Using this calculation, the 2009 California crop would be worth about $160 billion. But again, crops grown in Mexico are typically worth about a third of those grown in the superior conditions of California, bringing the price back to around half a trillion dollars.