top of page
  • Twitter
solo TCR Black logo.png

In-Depth Coverage Of The Irish And European Markets

NEWSLETTER | 30 April 2023

We read all the news so you don’t have to. Our round up of the recent headlines of interest from the Irish and European cannabis markets.


“In short, Germany's revised plan aims to avoid breaching EU regulations by adopting a pilot project for the sale of cannabis products, inspired by the Swiss model, and by decriminalizing cannabis possession and domestic cultivation, inspired by Malta's recent legislation, as well as by establishing cannabis social clubs similar to those in Spain, which don't require EU approval.”

The German Government’s latest announcement regarding its plans for cannabis legalisation has received mixed reactions. To some, it is still a huge step for a European powerhouse to make significant moves towards cannabis legalisation. To others, it falls short of what was hoped for, particularly since it was announced that 'very good feedback' had been received from the European Commission regarding the original planned approach. EU regulations remain a significant obstacle for EU States to overcome in fully legalising their recreational cannabis markets.


Meanwhile, Malta continues with the rollout of its recreational cannabis market. Without the sway that Germany possesses, Malta has less influence on the European stage. Regardless, it is following up with its own rollout. Malta will be the first country in Europe to fully legalise and regulate cannabis social clubs. Similar to those seen in Spain which, while tolerated, are not fully legal and regulated.


“The Czech Republic has put forward a draft bill for a regulated cannabis market that would allow individuals to buy up to 5 grams of cannabis per day for recreational purposes. Under the plans, people who wish to use cannabis recreationally would need to register in a database, while growers and sellers would have to pay annual fees.”

The Czech Republic has been closely following Germany in their respective quests to legalise and regulate their recreational cannabis markets. Here we see the proposals under the Czech model. The requirement of a database is likely to receive a hostile welcome.


Full legalisation was the breakthrough the cannabis industry stakeholders were hoping for in Germany, across Europe and indeed globally. However, the announcement of a scaled back model isn’t seen as a huge setback by those hoping to supply the legal German and European markets.

“Heitepriem, an Aurora Cannabis executive in Germany, isn’t concerned about Berlin’s potential pivot to an experiment. He suggested any trial program in Germany “would provide the county the opportunity to work together with other parties in Europe who want to legalize as well over the next four or five years to create a European framework which works for everyone.”


“The Ministry of Agriculture announced on April 25 its intention to set up new measures to remove products containing CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids from the Czech market, claiming that foodstuffs containing CBD cannot be placed on the market in any EU country due to the lack of scientific studies on their effects on human health.”

The CBD industry is under fire in the Czech Republic. This stance has taken some by surprise, given that the Czech Republic is one of the EU States keen to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. This has caused concern among some CBD industry stakeholders for the knock-on effect that such a move might have across other EU States.


The eagerly awaited Citizens' Assembly on Drugs Use has begun. It is not without its critics from both sides of the debate. Either way, it is positive to see Ireland actively keeping up to date with European and international trends and providing the public with the opportunity to voice their opinion. It isn’t long ago when many believed that the UK would be a front runner in drug policy reform, particularly around legalising cannabis. Ireland is now ahead of its neighbour, which has regressed in this regard in recent years.


“However, the doctors have also said that they support the health diversion scheme introduced by Government last year and that they believe no one should be locked up for simple drug possession".

The Cannabis Risk Alliance (CRA), as this group is known, has been actively lobbying against the legalisation of cannabis for a number of years. Including under somewhat controversial terms when their communications with government officials were not disclosed under the Register of Lobbying. It is no surprise that CRA are making their thoughts heard as part of the Citizens' Assembly on Drugs Use. Seen by many drug policy reformists as the opposition, even the CRA believe that no one should be locked up for simple drug possession.


“Smart and Steiner, who head two of the biggest academic agricultural programs in the U.S. on hemp, have only been studying it since it was made legal five years ago. Both say that hemp has a lot of catching up to do before it can start competing with more established crops, even if it does have more desirable qualities.”

There are notable similarities between the US and Irish hemp markets. Since its peak in 2019, Ireland has seen a decrease in the number of hemp cultivation licences being issued and the number of acres sown, much like in the US. Here we see examples of what is holding the US hemp industry back, examples which are familiar to Irish hemp farmers.


While the UK’s policy makers have displayed more of a prohibitionist approach to recreational cannabis use recently, Northern Ireland remains welcoming to the benefits of medical cannabis. For some, it is hard to believe that rural Antrim would be home to a lounge where patients can consume their prescribed medical cannabis.


©2023 by The Cannabis Review

22 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All


Richard Power
Richard Power

Opening soon for your participation with the conversation on drugs reform.

bottom of page