While the Americas have taken the lead in legalising cannabis for both medicinal and adult-use, the point of no return for global legalisation has passed and it is only a matter of time before other regions follow with progressive regulations. This is the case of Europe, where over the last two years, several initiatives have been taken to gradually legalise medical cannabis.

Specifically, these initiatives concern Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and France, while Israel is already on the forefront of medical cannabis research and access. Simultaneously, discussions concerning legalisation of adult-use cannabis seem to remove some of the stigma among physicians and patients. Indeed, several countries (the Netherlands, Switzerland, Malta, Luxembourg) are going a step further and are trialing adult-use regulations. However, Germany’s intent to deliver an adult-use cannabis market could be the trigger for legalisation in other European countries and deliver significant growth in the legal European cannabis industry. The way the German government has approached the international legality question is with an “interpretation declaration” to the other contracting parties. If the European Commission follows this German pathway, it would establish a blueprint for legalisation of cannabis in other European countries. Today, there is barely a legal European cannabis market to speak of, but the total market (99% illegal), is already EUR 65bn.  As legalisation is spreading across Europe, we expect the size of the legal European cannabis market to grow to EUR 16.8bn by 2027 from EUR 0.8bn in 2022.

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