EUROPE WILL GRADUALLY OPEN UP OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS TO BECOME THE LARGEST LEGAL CANNABIS MARKET IN THE WORLD.
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The UK prepares for cannabis reform after a landmark week in the news. Malta issues first import licence to Aphira subsidiary ASG Pharma, as Speakeasy Cannabis Clubs expand into German market. Scotland calls for more regulatory control over medical cannabis laws as the Isle of Man considers recreational legalisation.
Parisians line up to buy low-THC cannabis, while German insurers release their first insights into covering medical cannabis. UK border force confiscates ‘openly smuggled’ cannabis oil from Charlotte Caldwell, as Swiss parliament bans the use of cannabis in scientific studies. Meanwhile, data suggests consuming cannabis by smoking is becoming more unpopular, but it’s use as a sexual aid is on the rise.
Study finds legalising cannabis could boost UK tax revenue by up to £3.5 billion per annum, while the global drinks industry, suggests cannabis is its biggest threat. After weeks of raids, Denmark’s Christiania market stops selling cannabis, whilst a Spanish court seeks regulation of home-cultivation. Early tests suggest cannabis could effectively treat symptoms of Lyme disease, and Japan approves its first ever cannabis advertising campaign.
GW Pharma makes breakthrough with US Food and Drug Administration, while Aurora expands it’s German presence. A study finds majority of Brits would prefer a softer stance on cannabis, and the French Health Minister suggests medical cannabis could be on its way.
UK missing out on huge legal cannabis market while MGC plans to penetrate Europe via Malta. Doctors lead a protest in House of Commons to overturn Britains medical cannabis ban, and a Scottish petition approaches target to trigger parliamentary debate.
Aurora buys Medreleaf for €1.9 billion in the largest cannabis merger to date. Canadian companies look abroad as industry consolidation continues, the UK’s first not for profit CBD shop opens in Edinburgh, and Thailand looks towards a legal medical cannabis market.
Maricaan Group closes the acquisition of Swiss company Haxxon, as Organigram sets up to acquire 25% of German company Alpha-Cannabis. Marches in Peru and Argentina demand new cannabis laws, while the British Medical Journal argues for legalised, regulated and taxed cannabis. Meanwhile, new studies suggest cannabis could treat anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Lidl begins selling cannabis to European consumers while Aurora and Medreleaf initiate merger talks. Elsewhere, Zimbabwe legalises medical cannabis and an Edinburgh mother gets over 170,000 signatures on her petition to get legal cannabis treatment for her son.
Israeli pharmacies start selling cannabis, cannabis continues to carve up the beer market and the FDA could soon spark a surge in medical cannabis research. Meanwhile, we examine reform in the Netherlands as the state looks to take back control.
France is missing out on a €10 billion annual cannabis market. Elsewhere, Luxembourg's medical cannabis law nears completion as Canadian LP's profit from German demand.
Since March 2017, medical cannabis has been legal in Germany, launching a new domestic industry, and attracting the watchful eye of the global cannabis community.
Previously, the state had only accepted applications from around 1,000 patients who had navigated rigorous regulations in order to legally access cannabis treatments. However, as of March 2018, the number of applications to the health insurance companies has risen to 13,000, with over 60% of requests for reimbursement being approved.
Dutch cannabis laws are not without fault. Since the introduction of coffee shops in 1976, Amsterdam’s cannabis has been supplied by criminal organisations. Additionally, a lack of cannabis cultivation licences, since 2003, has allowed Bedrocan to develop a monopoly. But as the global reform on cannabis begins, the Netherlands are experimenting with cultivation licences in a bid to grow the industry.
France is emblematic of the hypocritical cannabis policies exhibited in Western Europe. More people consume cannabis in France than anywhere else in Europe, but despite recent amendments to the 1970 cannabis law, France is still missing out on a hugely profitable market.
Starting in the 1960s, Finland, like its Scandinavian neighbours developed a history of drug prohibition. However, Finland is too often tarred with the same brush as Sweden’s repressive policies. In reality, since 2008, Finland has legalised medical cannabis and reformed the formerly punitive cannabis policies. Although mainstream politics avoids the subject of full legalisation, youth parties are fighting for reform in the happiest country in the world.
In Sweden medical cannabis use has been considered an aggravating circumstance rather than an extenuating circumstance as many patients have suffered at the hands of punitive state laws. However, as two historic cannabis licences have been granted, Sweden may no longer be able to remain an island in the changing global consensus on cannabis.
On the whole, public policies in the Nordic countries are usually informed by modern science and human rights. Drug policy is, arguably, the notable exception. Current cannabis laws in Norway are not based on any real science of humanism but largely as a result of the fearmongering rhetoric of the 60s and 80s. However, as much of Europe rolls back the embargo on medical cannabis, Norway is looking to differentiate itself from the typically repressive Scandinavian cannabis policies.
Estonia is starkly juxtaposed with the rest of Europe in the medical cannabis space. On one side, the state are surprisingly keen to implement some form of medical cannabis system but on the other, caution and anxiety pervade mainstream public opinion on cannabis reform.