The international cannabis industry is gaining traction through advancements in legalization for both medical and adult-use purposes. Let’s take a look at the happenings in Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa:
A surge in support for the cannabis industry opens up the possibility of Germany becoming the first European country to embrace adult-use cannabis. About 4 million Germans consume cannabis, and until now, Germany relied on imported cannabis to meet their demand. As a result, Germany is looking to have its laws updated to support a medicinal and potentially adult-use market. Similarly, the majority of political parties in Germany are in favor of some cannabis legalization. This, combined with the polls conducted by the German Hemp Association, shows that recreational cannabis approval has hit 59%. This September, with a federal election approaching, a form of adult-use legalization will likely be discussed soon. Soon, Germany could start the momentum for other international countries to consider the cannabis market.
Currently, medical cannabis is legal in Jamaica, with the first medical dispensaries opening in 2018. Since the legalization of medical cannabis, the country has licensed 29 cultivators and issued 73 licenses for transportation, retail, and processing. With their ideal cultivation climate, legislators plan to improve the current regulations for Jamaica to compete in the cultivation industry adequately. Today, Jamaica stands as a noteworthy player in the industry. Still, with improving regulations and legislation pending, Jamaica is looking to rise up the chain. Recently, State Minister Dr. Norman Dunn announced that they are working diligently to make cautious, meaningful changes to their standing regulations enacted in 2015.
3. South Africa
In 2018, South Africa’s Constitutional Court legalized the personal use and production of cannabis while allowing police to determine if the quantity in one’s possession was for personal use or trafficking. Most recently, they released a draft cannabis master plan, which aims to loosen regulations and decriminalize cannabis for private purposes by 2023. According to Cannabiz Africa, CBD Pharma Farms from South Africa is about to become Africa’s first “contract cannabis farmer.” The company’s future harvests are likely to supply CBD brand, Goodleaf with cannabis for its range of health and wellness products. Through their partnership with Highlands Investments, they have created a model to grow cannabis on behalf of outside consumers through its Canna-Tract system. As a result, this new system is planned to take off in Lesotho soon.
Currently, in Ghana, the Narcotics Control Commission is submitting a Legislative Instrument (LI) to Parliament. The LI will spell out how one can qualify for a license to cultivate cannabis with less than 0.3% of THC and applicable fees to pay for the issuance of such license. Although cultivation is legal with a license, possession, and consumption of cannabis remain highly illegal. By implementing a licensing system, Ghana may consider enacting adult-use or medical legislation, further destigmatizing cannabis in Africa. Soon, Ghana could bolster international support for cannabis.
In Barcelona, a high-tech American cannabis research company, Front Range Biosciences, has partnered with the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) to research genetics and breeding. Although they were one of the first European countries to decriminalize personal use and cultivation, Spain has yet to legalize medical or recreational cannabis. Currently, Spain authorizes organizations to cultivate, process, and test cannabis for medical purposes. Front Range Biosciences and the CRAG received one of eight licenses granted by the Spanish Agency of Medicine and Sanitary Products to work with cannabis. Hopefully, the research conducted in this partnership will be a step for Spain towards full legalization.
As of 2021, North America sits at the highest market share for medical and recreational cannabis worldwide. After seeing advancements around the world, international countries are beginning to realize the benefits of a regulated cannabis industry. Thanks to advocacy groups, mass education, and research efforts, cannabis is now gaining traction internationally. As the world develops a regulatory structure, the worldwide cannabis market share is projected to hit $90.4 billion in 2026. Get ahead of the cannabis curve and begin preparing to expand your business now.
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Point7 has over 40+ years of combined experience working in regulated cannabis markets worldwide. The team has obtained 80+ cannabis licenses for clients in highly competitive international markets. Contact us today to see how we can help you in your next venture.