Here Comes Portugal: Adult Use Bill Brought Before Parliament
Cannabis reform is not staying still across the EU
As Europe begins to wake up to the reality that two countries within and just outside its border (Luxembourg and Switzerland) are about to give the region its “Colorado and Washington State” moment – Portugal appears to want to up the ante even more.
In a move highly anticipated by insiders, and just before a summer of intermittent travel corridors and mutating summer holiday plans along with new variants of Covid, the Portuguese also seem determined to have their moment in the sun.
However, the Portuguese situation is also not likely to be like any of the other discussions going on in Europe at the moment. This starts with the fact that the government has been playing with the idea of drug liberalization and lassaiz faire drug reform for the last fifty years in a way unseen in any other European state.
The timing of this discussion – literally to carve out and define a national policy on adult-use – is also far from accidental.
This development means that three countries within Europe (the other two are Holland and Luxembourg) plus Switzerland are now formally debating if not implementing adult-use market guidelines and policies.
This is a tipping point. Even if the German government (for one) along with the French and Spanish, would rather ignore the entire enchilada.
Where Does This Leave Germany?
There is much speculation within the country if not beyond its borders about the impact of the national election this year on cannabis normalization. That said, while it is likely that the political winds are likely to elicit some reform (see perhaps decriminalization) it is unlikely that full boat recreational use will be on the table here for the next five years.
In the meantime, experimental and feeder markets (Greece, Malta, North Macedonia) beyond these recreational outliers, are clearly beginning to define medical cultivation markets that will feed tax coffers and create green jobs. At some point, there will be a Deutsch tipping point. The question, of course, is what might cause this. And when it might come.
Medical markets will only continue to push the topic forward – and of course bigger economic issues – like Post Pandemic recovery – will also feed into the debate.
Regardless, for advocates and the industry alike, the summer of 2021 is turning out to be a good one for pushing the theoretical idea of reform forward, if not exactly the mechanics, in countries across the region like never before.
Be sure to book your tickets to the International Cannabis Business Conference when it returns to Berlin this August!