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How Will German Legalization Affect Europe’s Emerging Cannabis Industry?

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As a long-time cannabis activist in the United States, I have personally witnessed the ‘cannabis political butterfly effect.’ Cannabis activists worked at the state level to legalize medical cannabis for many years with no victories in the United States, although it wasn’t for lack of effort.

That all changed in 1996 with the passage of medical cannabis legalization in California. That one victory would quickly prove to be the first domino that would knock over several others in the years that followed, with state after state passing measures via citizen initiative or legislative action.

The same thing happened with adult-use legalization. The first states to legalize in the U.S. were Colorado and Washington in 2012, and roughly a decade later the list has grown exponentially to 22 states, two territories, and Washington D.C. Both policy shift patterns demonstrate the butterfly effect.

This is not to say that every reform victory sets off a public policy chain reaction. Obviously, Uruguay legalized cannabis for adult use and it was not until a handful of years later that Canada did the same, and then a few years after that before Malta passed its own legalization measure. Those examples highlight that not all prohibition dominos are created equal.

One international legalization domino is looming over all the rest right now – Germany. Germany is in the middle of a historic push to pass a national legalization measure, and we now know many of the policy facets that will be involved, although it’s still unclear what many of the regulatory requirements will be.

What is clear is that Germany is likely to spark a series of similar reform measures being introduced and passed in other countries, particularly in Europe. It is completely logical to assume that there will be a policy butterfly effect once Germany legalizes, unlike what has happened so far in Canada, Uruguay, and Malta.

Germany shares more borders (9) with other countries than any other nation in Europe. It is very unlikely that successful legalization in Germany will fail to move the needle in the region. Leaders in the Czech Republic have already publicly indicated that they will follow Germany’s lead, and presumably, several other countries are just waiting for Germany’s process to get further along before they do the same.

Germany is home to the world’s fourth-largest economy and holds tremendous political influence at the continental and global levels. Legalization in Germany is going to encourage countries throughout the world to get on the ride side of history and work to end cannabis prohibition at a level never previously witnessed since the dawn of prohibition.

This is all stellar news for the emerging legal international cannabis industry, as every reform victory yields new opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors, industry service providers, etc. Cannabis reform is on the move around the world, particularly in Europe, and that directly benefits overall industry pursuits.

With that being said, there are still many questions to be answered, not the least of which are how fast can people expect things to start moving, and where should they focus their attention. Some nations are going to move faster than others, and some markets are going to be worth holding out for compared to other markets that may have a lower barrier to entry but less profit potential.

Figuring that all out is not an easy task, and that is why we are encouraging people to come to learn straight from one of the best in the business at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin on July 29-30th. Renowned international cannabis expert Peter Homberg will provide a keynote address dedicated to the topic of how legalization in Germany will affect the international cannabis industry. Peter Homberg is a partner at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, and possesses a wealth of knowledge of cannabis policy and industry trends.

Over 5,000 cannabis leaders from over 80 countries will be represented at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin and that includes representatives from every sector of the industry as well as leading international cannabis policymakers and industry service providers. Attend the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin to network with investors, entrepreneurs, industry regulators, and international policymakers and take your industry pursuits to the next level.

Secure your tickets now before the event is sold out!