Medical cannabis patient numbers continue to rise all across Europe, priming the continent to become the largest market in the world over the next 5 years.
According to a report released by Prohibition Partners at Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, they expect Europe cannabis patient numbers to grow from 130,000 to 225,000 and reach €18 billion in Europe’s largest markets – Italy, Netherlands, and Germany. They also anticipate the total market value for all of Europe to top €58 billion (over $66 billion USD) by 2028. Their extensive review is titled The European Cannabis ReportTM 4th Edition.
In addition to economic potential, the report also outlines how a slew of legal changes and increased social awareness regarding cannabis’ health benefits have influenced the industry. Overall, there are 14 countries in the European Union with medical cannabis programs and just last year, prescription cannabis products were legalized in the UK, Spain, and Malta.
And that’s not all that’s been going on in Europe. The EU is also currently working on a plan to consolidate cannabis laws across the country into one uniform plan. Additionally, the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety publicly acknowledged the medicinal value of cannabis.
According to Stephen Murphy, Co-Founder at Prohibition Partners, “The European cannabis market is undergoing a transformative moment, driven by sky-rocketing demand. This has pushed national governments across the continent into action and Europe is poised to become a hotbed for medicinal development.”
Murphy also believes that politically driven changes can prompt additional industry growth. “Most countries base their legal status on WHO/UN Drug Conventions. WHO is now reassessing the legal status of cannabis, and EU Committees are looking at how to regulate cannabis usage internationally. This will fuel rapid growth in the coming years.”
Murphy made a few other main points during the conference. He discussed Germany’s market specifically, which is valued at €133 million and grew from 1,000 patients in 2017 at the onset of medical legalization, to 40,000 patients by the end of last year. He also brought attention to the fact that barely any countries in Europe are actually equipped to supply the rapidly growing number of consumers, aside from the Netherlands and Israel which have legalized cannabis imports.
Also unlike Israel, which is leading the world in cannabis research, most of Europe is currently lacking clinical data. Solid medical studies are a major factor in driving legislation changes. Once the EU can work out these few obstacles, Europe is in a position to become the largest medical cannabis market in the entire world.
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