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Which Way Are The Winds Of Recreational Cannabis Blowing In Europe?

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Several countries have decided to delay their plans for recreational markets – apparently in response to the German national elections

In a strange response apparently to the results of the German elections, both Portugal and Luxembourg have just announced delays and review of their decisions and legislation to move to recreational markets. 

In Portugal, the pending adult market legislation has now been put on hold for at least the next sixty days. In Luxembourg, the ruling government, which promised as part of its mandate to create a recreational market in the country by 2023 is now sending signals that it wishes to delay the same because of potential clashes with European law. Note: this has not stopped the Dutch from proceeding with the region’s first nationally regulated adult-use market – which is another reason for believing that the excuse just given in Luxembourg is nothing more than a political cover story to give the new ruling German coalition a chance to think about their position. Even the decriminalization of cannabis here will make it impossible for anyone at the EU level to object to recreational markets on a country-by-country basis. Indeed, the last decision about the scheduling of cannabis at the UN level was specifically to allow individual countries to come to their own decisions about the same.

No matter what, however, recreational reform has suddenly become a hot topic in Europe. 

As Goes Holland?

One of the more interesting issues raised by the Luxembourgian decision is that while the official recreational market may be delayed, citizens may well gain the right of home grow. This would create its own ripple across the cannabis landscape in a way that might also begin to change the discussion (a la Italy) and further in a way that would be good for patients and adult users even if it does not directly create a formal industry.

Beyond this, of course, any discussions of European objections to expanding on a country-by-country basis, adult use markets, will have to overcome the problem of Holland. There is clearly no going back, although the steps forward may be stranger if not even sideways than anyone can yet foresee.

Regardless, the topic of adult-use is now clearly in the air – and the odour of Europe is absolutely getting danker.

Stay tuned for more news and information from the International Cannabis Business Conference.