Medical cannabis is officially available in the UK today via prescription and millions of patients, who suffer from registered conditions that can be treated with cannabis, could qualify for treatment.
Oceania is poised for big things in the global cannabis market with a regional industry that is estimated to be worth US$8.7 billion by 2028. With over 20 companies registered on the ASX and a government mandate to become a global leader in cannabis production, Australia is leading growth in the region.
Over the past 24 months, the Latin American cannabis industry has emerged from the shadows to command the attention of the international cannabis community as over ten major markets have legalised medical cannabis. Legal cannabis sales are worth $125 million in 2018, but that number is expected to rise to $12.7 billion by 2028. The LATAM Cannabis Report™ examines the key social, political and economic forces driving the cannabis market in Latin America.
As of September 2018, the Italian medical cannabis system is struggling to meet patient demand. In 2017, 300 patients applied for medical cannabis but, a year later, nearly 10,000 patients are actively seeking medical cannabis prescriptions but favourable legislation and high consumption rates are making Italy a key contender for full legalisation.
Last year we examined the state of cannabis clubs in Catalonia. Historically a frontrunner in terms of both medical and recreational cannabis the region has blazed a trail in continental Europe. However, 12 months later, the Spanish government have done little to progress cannabis legislation at a federal level and issues of independence and territorial segregation have taken priority over a national cannabis policy.
By 2028, the European cannabis market will be worth €115.7 billion, according to market intelligence and strategic consultancy firm, Prohibition Partners. The findings come from The 3rd Edition of The European Cannabis Report™, a new report calculating the potential value of a fully legal cannabis market across 28 key countries in Europe.
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.
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.