By Roland Sebestyén
In their 2020 Autumn report, Hanway Associates and Brightfield Group claim that the somewhat small, but up-and-coming European Cannabis Market will continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. But what drives this growth?
Experts say one of the main barriers ahead of the European cannabis market is the regulation in place. The EU will need to work on the matter because clarity is key for businesses, patients and investors in the industry.
According to the report, a massive boom is expected in the near future. Germany is poised to dominate the European continent. It is estimated that Germany will reach sales of $267 million in sales this year and have a $2.5 billion market by 2025.
The UK, regardless of the impact that Brexit will mean for its economy, is also on the verge of taking a huge step in the right direction. The report says the size of the UK market could double by 2025.
Strangely, the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact on the global cannabis industry.
On the contrary, “a number of countries have adopted policies allowing cannabis products onto the market beyond pharmaceutical compounds.” This, experts claim in the reports, gave access for new patients to medical cannabis products.
Furthermore, due to the pandemic, services such as telehealth have become a rather popular option among cannabis patients. While prior to 2020 people were usually asked to visit a GP personally, these days more doctors and clinicians offer online consultation.
It allows the patients to talk to experts in a more relaxed way, from their home, and it removes any additional stigma that would come with being prescribed for medical cannabis.
However, while medical cannabis use is growing among people looking for alternative treatment, some physicians are still reluctant to work with the drug. This issue is not a European one, but the market sure does need the experts to change their approach to cannabis.
At the same time, entrepreneurs and patients should also understand that cannabis regulation in Europe is unlikely to emulate the North American model seen in the US and Canada.
As they say: “Killer products and winning business models from North America aren’t guaranteed to replicate in Europe – now or in five years’ time.
“European operators need a Europe-specific strategy, reflecting the unique regulatory framework and distinct sensibilities of the region.”
Among other steps, which are summarised in the report, experts believe Europe should play for the long run.
In the end, the continent has a tremendous opportunity to utilise cannabis and be the next giant on the global market. All it needs is patience and political and public will.