European Cannabis Reform Inching Forward Despite Covid

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Does the expected WHO decision on cannabis this December have anything to do with it?

A funny thing is happening across Covid-stressed Europe. Governments are either inching forwards reluctantly on aspects of the cannabis question, or they are being challenged to change the law in court. Regardless, it is clear that cannabis is on the agenda, even if reluctantly, just about everywhere.

Indeed in the last month, these individual developments have inched forwards across the continent:

Spain: The Canary Islands Parliament just voted to move full reform forwards. While far off the Spanish mainland if not far from Catalonia (the Spanish autonomous “state” that is also home of Barcelona aka home of the vast majority of cannabis clubs), and closer to the coast of Africa than Madrid, this small archipelago of 4 million people could well help put pressure on the central Spanish government to finally begin to federally regulate the industry at all levels. In the meantime, one of the heroes of the club movement is challenging the legitimacy of the federal Spanish law in European Human Rights Court.

Italy: Quietly published in August, the Agriculture Ministry has included the extract of hemp flower in an official list of agricultural products that can be used for medical purposes.

France: On October 7, the French released news of the much-promised medical trial finally being instituted in the country no later than March 31, 2021, and to run for a period of two years. This comfortably puts any French cannabis experiment absolutely in line with one apparently established internationally by globally moving forces. See the UN.

European Countries Seem To Be Aligning With A Medical Outlook

With the increased formalization of the German market (namely BfArM has now chosen a distributor for domestically produced crops), the writing is absolutely on the wall that at a diplomatic, nosebleed level, countries across Europe have now absolutely fallen into line on accepting cannabis as a legitimate medical plant if not product.

This is a victory, no matter how incomplete. For those who remember the days before 2016, no matter how slow change has sometimes seemed, it is also one achieved in almost record time, all things considered. 

The Next Steps

There is nobody in the industry, let alone those who seek to regulate and shape it externally, who believes that this is all “over.” Even after the WHO makes what is widely predicted to be its landmark announcement in December. 

Too many patients remain outside care. And both hemp and recreational reform beyond that are now also absolutely on the horizon, no matter how many years and countless fights remain.

Be sure to book your tickets to the only European cannabis industry conference that keeps you up to date if not on the cusp of developing trends across the industry. The International Cannabis Business Conference returns to Europe in 2021!

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