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Switzerland And Luxembourg Firm Plans For Recreational Markets

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Two European countries, one in the EU and one surrounded by it are, after many stutters and false starts, moving concretely towards recreational markets next year.

In the last week, both Switzerland and Luxembourg have made concrete plans to formalize their recreational plans for 2022. This may indeed prove to be Europe’s tipping point year, much akin to 2014 in the US when both Colorado and Washington State defied US federal law and moved forwards with their own recreational markets.

With Holland formalizing its recreational market, and Portugal also now at a tipping point, even if much delayed, the conversation about recreational cannabis has hit Europe. 

What this will mean, however, is a different conversation.

Most if not all investment funds (for example) are still publicly at least, only talking about medical cannabis investments. 

In a blended market like Switzerland, however, this may make increasingly little difference.

Medical Vs. Recreational Production and Certification

One thing is for sure. The level of certification issued for such markets will be done at a federal level. This means, by definition, that the level of quality will be much higher than what was initially seen in the US.

In Switzerland, pharmacies will carry both kinds of products. This means that even recreational products will have to pass federal quality tests still unseen in America.

Impact on Other EU Markets

All this is happening of course at a time when Germany, still Europe’s largest medical cannabis market, is now considering the next course of cannabis reform. It is highly likely in the next two years, that the coalition government that seems to be formalizing, will at least decriminalize the plant. 

However, with trial projects going on all around it, it is also unlikely that Germany will be able to resist the clarion call for a recreational trial within the next four years. The FDP, for one, are clear about their desire for tax money that could come from the market. This will become an increasingly interesting proposition as the ravages of both Covid and the subsequent supply chain discussions now hitting the world.

Beyond this, there are clearly other EU countries hovering around this discussion even if they have not formally announced the same. This includes the Czech Republic. It may also include places like Italy and Malta where home grow is now legit, not to mention Spain.

The future indeed seems to look brighter and brighter, and it is very clear that this time it is not just another train.

Stay tuned to the International Cannabis Business Conference blog for developments about the global cannabis industry.

Luxembourg, Switzerland