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.