Adult-use cannabis legalization has garnered significant attention to start this decade in Europe, and rightfully so. The effort to legalize cannabis for adult use is not new on the continent. However, the momentum for legalization in Europe is greater now than ever before.
In Malta, adult-use legalization is already a reality. This month, regulators will begin accepting applications for non-profit cannabis clubs to supply consumers. Adult households in Malta also have the freedom to cultivate up to four plants thanks to a limited legalization measure that passed in late 2021.
As adult-use legalization grows, it is as important as ever to be mindful of suffering patients throughout Europe and to ensure their needs aren’t lost in the hype.
Every cannabis advocate across the European continent needs to push for safe access and sensible medical cannabis policies to ensure no suffering patients are left on the outside looking in.
Fortunately for patients, when adult-use cannabis legalization measures are passed, non-registered patients win.
Using Malta as an example, every adult who suffers from a condition that can be treated by cannabis can now legally cultivate their own medicine. Once non-profit clubs launch, they will be able to access their medicine that way as well.
The boost in safe access provided by adult-use legalization is not limited to just Malta. In nearly every jurisdiction that permits medical cannabis, certain conditions qualify a patient for a medical cannabis program while other conditions are not on the “approved” list.
When those jurisdictions go completely legal, any patient of legal age can purchase cannabis, regardless of their condition.
How medical cannabis policies and regulations are affected by potential legalization is always a major topic at the International Cannabis Business Conference events in Barcelona and Berlin and that is sure to be the case in 2023.
Both Spain and Germany are home to large medical cannabis communities and both nations are trending toward full legalization.
Spain and Germany are at critical junctures when it comes to cannabis policy. Germany, particularly, appears to be on the cusp of launching the world’s largest adult-use industry sooner rather than later.
The nation’s eventual industry will serve suffering patients in Germany as well as patients from other nations seeking easy access to cannabis treatments. Lawmakers need to be mindful of this and craft policies and regulations accordingly.
What medical cannabis in Europe looks like five to 10 years from now will be much different than how it looks today. As adult-use spreads, medical cannabis reform will spread with it, albeit in an indirect fashion. This growth will ultimately benefit patients, which is always a good thing.
This article first appeared in Volume 4 Issue 4 of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here.