It has been a busy few weeks for European Cannabis and the wheels of progress look to be turning, albeit slowly. Last week at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin, where The Cannabis Review was in attendance, we had The German Commissioner on Narcotic Drugs at the Federal Ministry of Health speak as the keynote address to a packed auditorium, kicking off the International Cannabis Business Conference Berlin 5. It was a moment that had been years in the making and signified German political leaders are willing to engage with the cannabis industry ahead of this very substantial European market.
While Blienart did not reveal any more details – except to say that the legislation is still in process and there is much to compromise about – he did clarify the timeline of legalization a bit more clearly. Namely, that a draft bill will likely be released by the end of the year, with passage to occur in 2023.
Olaf Scholz's coalition government has in recent weeks reiterated its 2021 deal to legalise cannabis for recreational use and the expectations among the business community are high. The exact timing of when this new industry will go live is still uncertain and The Cannabis Review expects it to be closer to the end of 2023, the start of 2024. If you look at the territories where it went legal, the framework and amount of detailed analysis of every facet of the industry prior to legislation are complex.
To boost European chances of a green wave, Spain has recently outlined their plans to legalise medical cannabis by the end of 2022. This is fantastic news for patients in Spain but the reality of it being executed in such a short time frame seems optimistic. It is also still unclear as to whom may be permitted to prescribe medical cannabis.
Dr. Adán de Salas Quiroga graduated in biology, specialising in Neurobiology, and in 2011 completed a Master's in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biomedicine at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. In early 2011, Adán joined the cannabinoid research team, coordinated by the prestigious Professor Manuel Guzmán, who researches distinct areas of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in the context of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and embryonic development. He recently told The Cannabis Review "what they (the Spanish government) say are that the professionals allowed to prescribe are physicians without a conflict of interest, and then they said preferentially it should be done by a specialist in the area".
Europe will certainly become the largest adult-use market in the world when all or most countries within the European Union legalize adult-use cannabis but the steps to get there are still substantial and we may see a case where like in America, one country or state can legalize but their neighboring country or state does not.
There is also the question of what will happen in the United Kingdom. With the current race for the new leadership of the Tories, our U.K sources have informed The Cannabis Review that if Liz Truss acquires the leadership then it will be a very big step forward for the cannabis industry in the U.K. The only caveat to add here is that unfortunately the United Kingdom is not in the European Union anymore and therefore TAX is due on all U.K imports to the E.U. The length of time to obtain goods from the U.K to Europe due to red tape will also hinder the U.K. industry in Europe.
Coming soon on The Cannabis Review we will be breaking down each European country's chances of legalization in the next few years.