Could Cannabis Reform Be Part Of The Post Covid “Green New Deal”
While governments are still struggling to deal with the economic fallout from the global pandemic, one question continues to float through the entire conversation. Could domestic cannabis production be part of a massive infrastructural, if not economic, reboot? Especially because this also shortens and better secures global supply chains?
That question is clearly on the table in the U.S. right now, as states declare the industry “essential,” and lawmakers begin to consider whether to include the industry in the coming bailout packages.
In Europe, many are asking the same question.
But what could this mean, really, for economies who are literally flying in migrant workers to begin harvesting regular crops during the pandemic?
Here are a few of the trends that seem to indicate that this idea will be at least considered, if not is already in the cards.
Hemp Production Is Clearly Increasing – In almost every European country and the UK right now, hemp production is on the rise. Lobbying efforts have begun to place CBD at the forefront of the discussion about reform (just as in the U.S.). This means that recreational reform does come, hemp farmers who have managed to survive will be in the forefront of cultivation of the “other” kind.
Medical Cannabis User Numbers Continue To Rise: While it is still a fight to get access to cannabinoid treatments, patients in many European countries are continuing to rise – even if “all” they can get, for now, is dronabinol, the generic synthetic.
Cannabis Production Continues To Go Forward: While GMP certification and licensing have clearly slowed during the pandemic, there are still producers and distributors who are getting licenses. By next year, Spain, Portugal and Greece are expected to have product ready to flood European markets. Italy has already changed its laws to allow limited home grow. And don’t forget about North Macedonia.
Regional Reform Is In The Cards: Within two years, as most in the industry have predicted, the question at the table is not if but when reform is instituted on an EU wide basis. This will almost certainly happen in tandem with reform in the U.S. and after the UN changes global regulations on cannabis. The reason? International trade agreements that have come into force in the last several years. This means that individual European countries will finally be free to make their own decisions about legalization.
Bottom line? It is clear that cannabis reform, starting with increased tax revenues sure to flow to overstressed economies thanks to the Great Covid Recession, is on track in Europe, even on an extended schedule. And given the massive blow the global economy thanks to the current pandemic, all such sources of revenue will clearly be welcome, just about everywhere that cannabis reform has so far stalled.
To keep abreast of the latest legislative changes if not rapidly moving business regulations in Europe, be sure to attend the International Cannabis Business Conference when it returns to Europe this summer.