The US and Canada aren’t the only countries where the dream of legalization is leaving the realm of fantasy to enter that of reality, but as long as marijuana retains its status as a schedule 1 substance under the DEA’s eyes, the US is bound to be left out of the international game.
Canadian producers, however, are currently more than interested to know what they’re going to do with the leftovers of what is estimated to soon become a very oversupplied market, and they very well should be, considering that the country ranks as the second largest producer of legal cannabis for medical use, after the UK.
International demand for cannabis is undoubtedly expected to grow within the next decades as more and more people realize the plant’s healing potential, and open up to it as a socially accepted intoxicant. But exporters will have to compete with local producers also trying to get a piece of the pie, and stay up to date with the ever-changing minutia of each country’s particular legal, economic and industrial developments.
Nonetheless, as unforeseeable as the future scenario might be for exporting opportunities, we count on presenting the current state of affairs as the most solid tool available today, in analyzing the international playing field.
Although recently established, the German medical cannabis market is blooming like a ganja field in early autumn.
Since it authorized cannabis consumption for medical purposes in late 2016, the country’s demand for dried buds has been on the rise, with more than 10,000 prescriptions being filled out in the first half of 2017, and over 44,000 units of the plant being covered by health insurance in the whole year. As numbers rapidly increased, the country met some problems covering such a high demand with Europe’s main cannabis producer located in the Netherlands. This opened the door to Canada’s role as one of the country’s main providers.
The skies show no sign of rain for Canadian exporters for the remaining part of the year, or at least until the first strains of locally grown flowers hit the pharmacies, which is not expected until well into 2019.
Politics to introduce a legal marijuana market started back in the Mediterranean country in 2007, but parliamentary disagreements lead to a long-term debate that didn’t show the first signs of resolution until 6 years later when medical marijuana was finally approved in 2013.
In the four years that followed, the country’s annual consumption of medical cannabis grew over ten times, which led the government to also look towards Canadian producers in order to balance the greatly undersupplied market.
Currently, local production is lead by Italy’s own military, which only accounts for 250 kilograms of the expected 2000kg that will be required yearly to cover the ever-growing demand, according to official reports.
Though the Commonwealth country is set on becoming the world’s strongest cannabis exporter, the recent legalization of medical use -in late 2016-, gave way to some opportunities for Canadian producers, who helped stocked the market in its transition to self-sufficiency. Considering that Australian legislation is still preventing medical use from becoming a wide phenomenon, self-sufficiency is probably attained shortly after the first authorized crops (which have already been licensed) enter the market.