Is Europe Leading the Way On Medical Cannabis Research and Production, And What Does the Rest of the World Intend to Do?
European countries have so far demonstrated a progressive approach to medical cannabis. The consumption of medical cannabis is currently legal in more than twenty European countries, including the UK, Germany, Croatia, Malta, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and Italy, to mention a few. However, where recreational cannabis is illegal, for instance, in the UK, the authorities practice a stricter approach to its medicinal use. Only registered doctors can prescribe medical cannabis for specific conditions such as multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy, and chemotherapy effects.
Europe has seen much progress in medical cannabis research and has invested more to further medical cannabis research programs. Clinical and academic researchers in Europe actively research the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating different medical conditions for which enough evidence of its potential benefits lacks. Furthermore, doctors and patients are actively collaborating and exploring new ways of integrating medical cannabis into treatment options.
Christian Ellul says that Denmark is leading in building Europe’s medical cannabis ecosystem. Since the Danish medical cannabis program’s implementation in 2018, the Danish ecosystem has been attracting more researchers, investors, and partnerships. Through the pilot program, doctors and patients can access cannabis products and also specialized pharmacies. The Danish government launched the four-year program with a scheme that provides licenses to cultivate cannabis to process medical cannabis products. Denmark is an international key player in pharma and the agricultural sector with a well-established framework for public and private research partnerships. Consequently, extensive cannabis facilities are established in Denmark via joint ventures with Danish partners based on transparent regulations. They have a strong commitment to the cannabis ecosystem in automated production methods, sustainability, and more growth opportunities in the European markets.
The Frontier in The Cannabis Ecosystem
Europe remains the leading frontier on wellness and medical developments in the cannabis ecosystem. Several sources report that it will be the most extensive legal cannabis market in the next five years. That’s why hundreds of experts and delegates in the industry attended the cannabis Europa in Madrid to discuss the growth of cannabis worldwide and the challenges the member states of the EU and the UK face in the industry.
Since 2018, big global operators have made significant moves into the cannabis industry. For instance, Constellation, the owner of Corona beer, committed a $4billion investment in the Canadian Cannabis company, Canopy Growth. Such a huge investment is proof that cannabis has moved into the global mainstream. When looking at the impacts of mainstream cannabis, significant European countries have implemented frameworks to support more medical cannabis research. Talking of investment and research development in the cannabis industry, UK is the world’s largest producer and importer of medical cannabis.
Europe has influenced the rest of the world in adopting a progressive approach to medical cannabis. For instance, many cannabis companies in the US are still expanding, and we can expect a lot of partnerships and acquisitions in the cannabis industry. However, the US still faces the complexities of supply and distribution due to state and federal laws’ complexities.
We can expect many developments in medical cannabis research to provide more data on cannabis efficacy. Since Europe is positive towards the medical cannabis industry, we can expect to see more growth and developments in the European cannabis markets.