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Finding The Right Balance Among European Cannabis Industry Regulatory Models

The entire European continent seems to be trending towards legalization for the most part, and for the small group of nations that are still dragging their feet, the writing is on the wall. It’s only a matter of time before they get on the right side of history because every day that goes by is a day that other nations inch closer to beating them to the cannabis revenue punch.

Cannabis policy is not as straightforward as many seem to think. Simply stating that cannabis should be legal in general terms is one thing. Crafting national cannabis policies and regulations is a completely different matter and requires much more thought and planning, and that is just at a national level.

Just as Europe is a continent made up of many nations, so too will it be a continent made up of many different approaches to cannabis policy and regulation. Below is just a small sampling of cannabis policy facets that lawmakers and regulators need to consider when drafting measures:

  • Home Cultivation – plant limits, canopy size limits, public view restrictions, etc.
  • Commercial Cultivation – zoning, infrastructure needs, licensing
  • Commercial Sales – allowed or continued to be prohibited?
  • Imports/Exports – if yes, what regulations are involved?
  • Social Use – can people consume in clubs, and if so, under what conditions?

Those are just a handful of things that need to be taken into consideration, and even those have several sub-facets as well. It can be a daunting task, especially when considering that Europe is composed of dozens of countries, each with its own identity, culture, and approach to governing.

Right now there are already several different cannabis industry models in existence in Europe. Malta passed an adult use legalization measure late last year, although its model is based on home cultivation and non-profit entities from which consumers can source their cannabis.

Low-THC cannabis, or ‘cannabis light,’ has been sold all over Switzerland since 2017, and a pilot adult-use cannabis industry program for higher THC varieties is launching this summer in the country as well. Pilot programs are also in operation in Denmark, and hopefully soon, the Netherlands.

All nations need to learn from each other and collaborate to enact continental-level rules and regulations to help ensure that public safety concerns are addressed in a way that still allows the industry to reach its full potential (within reason).

Education is key, and with that in mind, we recommend that people check out a timely report from Augur Associates. The report is titled, ‘Which models for cannabis adults use regulation in Europe? – findings, objectives and proposals for legalisation.’

Augur Associates is a Paris-based consultancy agency dedicated to the sustainable and cutting-edge cannabis and hemp industry. In addition to their latest report, they have also published a number of other reports dealing with the emerging cannabis industry and shifting political landscape.

Their latest publication is a robust 271-page report in its complete version, with the additional option of downloading the summary version. Both options are free at Augur and Associates’ website (previously linked to in this article). The report is also coupled with a number of insightful recommendations from the publishers for lawmakers and regulators to consider.

All eyes are on Europe for the foreseeable future, and information of this value does not come along often, especially for free. Check out the latest report from Augur Associates because the more timely information that you know, the better suited you are to make informed decisions. It could mean the difference between you crushing it in the evolving international cannabis industry or fizzling out not long after you get started.

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