The European Cannabis Report states that Europe’s legal cannabis market is a €56-billion ($65.4-billion) opportunity. This means that if every country in Europe legalized cannabis and implemented a market infrastructure, the value of Europe’s cannabis market could hit that estimate. This, however, will remain an estimate for quite a while since none of the countries in Europe has fully legalized cannabis.
The ECR was released earlier this month by the UK-based consultancy firm Prohibition Partners. It was sponsored by Elite Healthcare Distribution in the UK, ABcann in Germany, and CannaTech in Israel.
The medical cannabis sector
The ECR anticipates the biggest market growth in the medical cannabis sector. Europe’s medical cannabis sector has been active since around five years ago when countries like France, Ireland, Italy, and the Czech Republic legalized prescription cannabinoid drugs like Sativex and Nabilone. Nova-Institute, HempConsult, and EIHA estimate Europe’s current market for CBD or cannabidiol as a pharmaceutical product as worth €2 billion alone.
Moreover, the report notes early research as showing that patients using medical cannabis outnumber as well as outspend recreational marijuana users in legal cannabis markets. This, the report says, will make Europe’s medical marijuana market a key target for international pharmaceutical institutions over the next decade.
Germany is currently the biggest player
In Germany, where the government has just recently approved medical marijuana for patients who are seriously ill, the cannabis market value has already reached €10.2 billion. If Germany also legalizes recreational cannabis, this market value could go up to as much as €14.7 billion. Needless to say, Germany became the largest European cannabis market in March 2017 with its new legislation and with its production licenses.
It is also worth noting that since Germany’s system does not have any credible local alternatives, it is geared towards teaming up with international companies capable of bringing their vast experience into its young cannabis market.
Other cannabis sectors
What’s more, the ECR says that when it comes to marijuana-related research and development, Poland, the Netherlands, and Germany are the most advanced European countries with local industries that are also the most advanced. However, other countries are quickly following suit.
As to which European sectors would likely appeal to American investors, the ECR says that data and production companies generate the most interest from global investors.
The €56-billion estimate, does not include revenue to be generated from additional secondary market and ancillary services.
Furthermore, the report notes that European hemp cultivation increased by 32 per cent in 2016 and is projected to grow by 20 per cent this year. The report states that Europe’s hemp cultivation capacity as well its hemp processing infrastructure is going to put the region at par with North America. France, the report points out, already accounts for almost half of Europe’s overall hemp production.
Global cannabis market
Cannabis market researcher Brightfield Group places the current global cannabis market at $7.7 billion. It also states that this could exceed $31 billion by 2021.
The United States remains to be the fastest-growing legal marijuana market globally.