As the world contemplates a whole new year, whether or not COVID will finally recede, there are a few things to encourage, including cannabis reform. Namely, no matter how many uncertainties we all face, as the gray month of January extends beyond the holiday lights, there is surely a joy in the air that will last much longer than the season.
In fact, there is a lot in Germany Now who are already planning to stitch Weinakht Treats only a few years from now. It is now clear that hemp will quickly take its place in the German tradition, and Christmas is just one of them. Kana-glauen (Hot wine), anyone?
Moreover, the rest of the European Union, which is now teetering on the edge of the cliff on this issue, has now awakened to the fact that no matter what they decide to do (PortugalAnd SpainAnd ItaliaAnd GreeceAnd Malta And of course the current laggard, France), now that Germany has just uttered the proclamation that marks the beginning of the end. If not an inevitable form of economic development and tax money in a world without hunger.
Cannabis has crossed a mainstay in Europe in 2021. Here are the highlights of the year.
Red, amber, green, go to Deutschland!
New Germany “traffic light” The political coalition has promised to legislatively address the issue of recreational reform in 2022. Unlike the United States where multiple attempts to pass federal cannabis reform have failed, this is likely to happen.
However, at the start of the reform, don’t be surprised if the Germans decide to follow the Swiss and allow regular pharmacies to be the first port of call for both medical and recreational users. It will solve several problems at once – from placing severe restrictions on agriculture and the retail supply chain.
A short-term temporary solution like this would raise a more contentious issue — how to structure a licensing system for everything from in-state farming (and who does it) to specialty stores that resemble American or Canadian “dispensaries”. It is not a medical institution. In addition to online sales.
This is to reform both Germany and cannabis, anticipate that there will be many iterations of reform, starting with state and city trials that will inevitably see Berlin, Bremen, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Munich (because such ideas have been pushed hard at the municipal level before).
Also, don’t forget that it took basically four years after the law was changed and two years after the offer of cultivation was finally granted that there was a distribution of medical cannabis grown in Germany. Don’t expect entertainment details to be dealt with or reached more quickly. See Canada.
However, in the meantime, the whole law would become the law of the land, and patients would be safe from prosecution, whether by reason of tenure or (hopefully) reasonable growth in the house. Despite the reluctance to actually grow cannabis in the country, whether by patients or companies (see the drama about the first cultivation attempt), this is not 2017. The Germans, albeit grudgingly, now admit that the drug works as a medicine, even if they don’t enjoy With one vote in the majority that the ban on cannabis of course failed.
Regardless, German entertainment, just as medical reform before it was, is a huge and colossal step that will propel other countries across the region forward as well.
Malta and Luxembourg will lead the way
It is a sign of the complexity of the Dutch situation, if not the national position, in general, that the island of Malta has led the way for de facto, official and federal recreational cannabis reform within the European Union. Indeed, if there are analogies to be made, Holland is somewhat similar to European California – creating a market that is in the gray areas but is only now facing a debate (and another far from complete) about how to federally regulate the industry.
Luxembourg, too, seemed to be holding back until another country jumped in, despite the same promise in 2018 that a new coalition government took over there. Now there is no excuse for further delay.
And Portugal will now inevitably reform once the smoke from a general election early next year fades – no matter who wins. The country needs an economic boost – whether from tourism or exports, and that’s a natural solution.
Moreover, Spain may follow a Dutch model of formalizing production for its clubs rather than cafes in the next 12 to 24 months.
Also expect to see Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Greece and possibly outliers like Belgium start moving with the herd, even if it’s creating test markets. This may or may not start next year, but it will definitely happen within the next 24 months.
Swiss wild card
Don’t forget, of course, that the Swiss have started preparing for an entertaining demo which now has a fixed calendar date for the actual lift in 2022. The companies have been submitting and getting approvals for the past eight months or so.
The start of this market, with its own peculiar requirements and rules, will inevitably drive discussions and shape reform across DACH if not other EU borders that the country shares with other countries. Everyone will be watching what happens inside Der Schwitz– Including unique assignment and blending of certain types of certifications – including but not limited to Novel Food and GMP.
Other notables (or not)
Try as much as you can to get some respect, the British hemp industry, as it stands, has gone through tough times, and it doesn’t look like these, at least for the time being, will be going away any time soon.
In contrast to the British regarding European membership and cannabis reform, North Macedonia will inevitably play a role in the near future, even if only as a source of cheaper flower extracts and oil.
Poland is also still teetering on the brink of real medical reform, if not possible, but we expect this to accelerate now as well.
Growth of import markets serving Europe
2021 was notable for another reason. The feeder markets would target the European Union if not Germany in its founder’s mandate, and continue to grow. This means that no matter what happens in future farming discussions, in any country, starting with Germany, there will be no shortage of other certified cannabis from countries around the world at this point, looking for a German home.
For this reason, there will be significant downward pressure on both the flower and medicinal biomass and “other” discussions.
The bottom line in 2021?
If there is an analogy to be made, the situation in Europe now on Earth looks a lot like the conversation in the United States in 2012, after the presidential election that returned Obama to his second term in office. Namely, two states, Colorado and Washington, voted on state mandates to create state markets. They both blossomed in 2014 – the rest, they say, is history.
This year’s developments in Europe, even some faltering delays, regardless of their causes or final decisions, are in many ways similar to this period. This is great news for the industry, on all fronts.
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