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Ready, Steady, Rec Market Europe?

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By Marguerite Arnold

There is a decided trend in Europe this year, driven in large part by frustration if not a political necessity. Recreational cannabis trials are starting to place pins in the map. They may not be large, and in some ways easy to sneeze at. However, the recreational bug has landed in the EU. The dominoes are starting to fall here too.

Is this the end of the fight? Certainly not. Plus of course, recreational market start almost inevitably pushes medical issues and the patients who face them, plus the financial hit of buying uncovered medicine, to the backroom once again.

Regardless, steps forward are definitely markers for victory. Below is a handy guide for recreational trials springing up like mushrooms in a European market near you.


The Swiss put the issue on the map in a big way when they announced that they are creating recreational trials based out of pharmacies basically. Depending on where you are, you will be able to buy recreational products from Swiss apothekes in near future if not already. Plus of course, your medicine.


Like the Swiss in their approach to the issue but within the actual EU, Luxembourg has been a strategic chess piece in the European puzzle ever since last year. Right as the German Deutsche Börse was about to pull the plug on German investing in the public markets, Luxembourg stepped in and saved the day by changing its own medical law to allow equity markets to clear stock purchases three weeks after the German ban, thus putting the entire issue back in play. The country’s new Green government has put full country recreational on the legislative map within the next five years and are moving to implement the law within two.


Long the home of a hippie commune and fairly open cannabis market that is world-famous (although recently wracked by violence and black market disruption), the Danish are taking to cannabis pretty much like, well, bacon. With a countrywide medical trial (that allows producers to ship into the German market), the first Danish city has just announced a rec trial. Berlin is almost certainly “green” with envy at this point. Next stop Kreuzburg anyone? It is unlikely but clearly a priority for German activists, for starters.


However easy it is to laugh off news of any recreational trial in the home of the coffee shop, yes indeed, Holland is now stepping up to the plate with a “recreational” trial of its own. Basically this will be a further institutionalization of the legalizing market here over the last five years. However, it is also clear that the Dutch do not want to be considered a backwater on this now the subject is finally moving. If not globally hip.