European Cannabis Spring Update
Spring is here! What is going down on the European Cannabis front?
Spring is here, and there are some interesting developments on the reform discussion front. Covid is receding but there is a big complication in the room right now. Namely, the Russia-Ukraine war.
Where and how much will cannabis reform progress this year?
All eyes are on Deutschland now. The Traffic Light Coalition promised reform, but the reality is that they are not putting this on the top of their agenda. First it was Covid. Now it is the evolving crisis in the East, along with all the complications which came with it – including sources of energy as well as overall inflation and an influx of refugees. Regardless, it is also clear that the German industry will not go away – and further that those who are in the medical space already are eager to expand into a new vertical.
Insiders say that rec reform is not likely to move legislatively, let alone any other way this year. In the meantime, lawsuits are afoot to define the legal status of imported hemp flower in the German market.
Beyond this, there is also clearly foreign money again looking to Germany to figure out where, when, and how to land. Go in too early and there is every possibility of being hung up on more legislative wait and see. So far, there has been no “too late.”
All eyes are on der Schweiz this spring. The country, while outside of the EU, is the first European country to move forward on a recreational trial that feels like one (in other words, not just seeds). Vendors are now getting ready for product launch via their Cantons. Stay tuned for further developments. From a pure reform front, this is the market with mo this year.
Malta and Luxembourg
The first technically “rec” markets in the EU (beyond Holland) are likely to better define rules this year. A seed market is a good start, but most people are not likely to want to grow their own.
The last major economy in the EU has finally bowed to the inevitable and even legalized the cultivation of medical cannabis this spring. However, there are many fights ahead, even as courts helped open the way for the sale of CBD flower.
All is not doom and gloom, let alone wait and see. There have been some concrete victories this spring – namely the approval of novel food applications and an agreement on the percentage of THC allowed in hemp and hemp seeds on a regional basis. It may be slow, but at least it is moving.
Bottom line? There are many excuses being used by legislators to keep reform from the front burner – all of which ring hollow when the economic boon legalization will bring is factored into the equation. Europe needs this industry, no matter how many other global or even regional crises arise in the meantime.
Be sure to book your tickets to the Berlin International Cannabis Business Conference this summer!