The development of a legal cannabis market can offer opportunities for European countries affected by Brexit uncertainty, according to The European Cannabis Report™ 4th Edition, the latest market-leading report on the European cannabis industry by Prohibition Partners.
With the risk of a no-deal Brexit looming, the report demonstrates that:
- Unlike established developed industries, a no-deal Brexit will not risk the sustained growth of the legal cannabis industry in the UK, nor across Europe.
- Although there is an appetite across Europe to develop a coordinated approach to medical cannabis, with the recent agreement by the European Parliament to form a legal definition, cannabis policy continues to be determined by individual member states, lessening the effects of the UK leaving the union.
- As the UK Government has strongly hinted at regulatory alignment post-Brexit, and with significant pressure to improve access to medical cannabis from Britain’s patient groups and political community, it is likely that any forthcoming European regulations will also be adopted, or at the very least closely reflected, in the UK.
- The UK is the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis, the majority of which is used for the pharmaceutical market, and offers major commercial opportunities regardless of the outcomes of the continued UK-EU negotiations.
The forecasted market growth will also come as welcome news to Germany, France and Italy, whose factories are suffering an industrial recession as eurozone manufacturing output sank at its fastest pace for almost six years.
Even amid the economic slowdown, Germany is at the forefront of the European cannabis industry and its medical cannabis market alone is estimated to be worth €7.7 billion by 2028. The European Cannabis Report™ illustrates that it is now third only to the US and Canada in terms of market size. Following the legalisation of cannabis for medical use, patient numbers have grown from 1,000 to over 40,000. To cope with demand, Germany’s government is resorting to imports and the country’s medicines authority, BfArm, is reissuing domestic cultivation licences owing to the surge in demand for medical cannabis.
Prohibition Partners Managing Director Daragh Anglim said:
“Since the referendum vote, the uncertainty of the post-Brexit landscape has already had a notable impact on the UK economy, with Goldman Sachs warning this week that Brexit has cost the UK £600 million a week. This includes businesses moving their operations abroad; factories stockpiling to reduce the risk of supply chain challenges; and sterling under constant pressure.
“With Europe facing ongoing uncertainty over when, how and even whether Brexit will happen, investors are undoubtedly nervous about the future. As one of only a few sectors likely to emerge unscathed from the Brexit drama, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the enormous potential offered by Europe’s legal cannabis market.”
“Of course, timelines for pan-continental regulatory change are difficult to establish. However, the growing demand for medical cannabis, the World Health Organisation’s review into the legal status of cannabis, and the European Parliament’s draft bill to establish a regulatory framework on cannabis for medical use could lead to a wave of legislative changes in 2019 across the continent.”
Download The European Cannabis Report™ 4th Edition here to learn more about legislation, regulation and the commercial opportunities available across the European cannabis industry.