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Rethinking Regulations – Exploring the Possibilities of Legalizing Cannabis

Cannabis has been in quite a hot spot in the last couple of years. You will see that the industry is growing at an unprecedented pace and that more countries legalize cannabis yearly. In addition, we can see that cannabis is legal in half of the US states. Therefore, numerous investors are ready to make investments in the market.

By this logic, the market will grow enormously, and sales will reach $149 billion by 2031. In the US, you will find more than 10,000 licensed retail stores today, but their number will increase significantly in the future. Today, we want to discuss the possibilities that can emerge with the legalization of cannabis in the future. So, without further ado, let’s dive deep into this topic.

The Attitude Towards Cannabis in the US

For centuries, cannabis was used by many different cultures for various purposes. However, the change of perception came back in the 1930s when the US government decided to criminalize the plant. There is a famous movie called “Reefer Madness,” filmed to teach parents and their children about all the potential consequences of cannabis consumption.

Today, we can see that this movie has become a cult classic, and many consider it to be a perfect piece of satire. However, people’s perception of this subject has shifted massively in recent decades. Numerous studies have been conducted during that time, and they have made it possible for scientists to understand all the plant’s medical benefits.

If you look at some studies, you will see that around 65% of Americans believe cannabis should be legalized. However, comparing these results with results found in 2000, you will see that the support has more than doubled. Furthermore, it has grown six times since the late sixties, showing how massive this change in perception is.

The History of Legality

The legalization of cannabis started in the mid-nineties when California passed Proposition 215, which talked about the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes. This proposition made it possible for patients suffering from certain conditions to possess and grow cannabis for medicinal use. 

At that time, this question raised a lot of problems on a federal level.The government organized a lot of raids, prosecutions, and even civil injunctions. The goal was to stall the growth of the medicinal marijuana industry in the state. The problems with the federal government stopped in 2009.

The legalization continued with Washington and Colorado legalizing cannabis, but they didn’t legalize it just for medical purposes, but recreational as well.Furthermore, possession was allowed for adults older than 21. Finally, both Colorado and Washington allowed commercial sales of the plant

Other state followed this example, and we can see that the only one left where it is illegal is in Nebraska. Of course, medical marijuana patients do need to obtain a cannabis permit for their state

The Global Scene

In 2021, the global cannabis market was worth around $22 billion. If you know that only a handful of countries have legalized cannabis completely, this is impressive. Furthermore, since some countries have plans to make the same legalization in the future, some projections say the value of the market can touch $226 billion by 2030.

A couple of countries in Europe have recently started the process of legalization. For instance, you will see that Germany followed the example of Malta, and the new government, led by Olaf Schultz, has decided to legalize the market completely and allow commercial sales. The potential German market would be exceptional since the country has well-established cannabis grounds.

The next example we want to shine a light on is Luxembourg. The state has legalized recreational consumption, and it has allowed the possession. The plan was for the process to be finished in October 2021. However, the plans pushed back the deadline. Ultimately, the process was completed in 2022.

Another good example is Portugal, which legalized medical cannabis back in 2018. Since then, the country has become a major hub for companies from the United States and Canada. However, Portugal is yet to regulate the market, and it will need a lot of time before it becomes a prominent one on the old continent.

Cannabis Research and Development

With modern technology at our disposal these days, it is clear that there is so much potential for the industry to grow in the future. Usually, we see the headlines talk about recreational and medical cannabis. However, there is much more to the story than meets the eye. For instance, a lot of developments occurred with biosynthesis and genetics.

Regarding genetics, we are talking about being selective during breeding. Doing so makes it possible to create more sustainable and powerful strains. But, of course, this is a lengthy procedure requiring sophisticated technology. Not to mention that the staff members should be as experienced as possible.

Biosynthesis is particularly interesting since it involves various pharmaceutical therapies, like human growth hormone and insulin. By doing so, scientists make it possible for the market to have many more options at their disposal and, at the same time, to keep the prices reasonable, which is not always the case.

The Cannabis Industry and COVID-19

Without any doubt, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has shaken the world. We can see that various industries had a negative experience after this period. For instance, the hospitality industry has suffered many problems and massive financial losses during the two years while the lockdowns were the main measure of protection.

Many industries have almost collapsed, and they need to work towards rebuilding themselves in the future. Unfortunately, only a handful of them was able to survive the crash. The cannabis industry didn’t suffer nearly as many others. You will see that it has recovered significantly during that period and come out even stronger.

If you compare it with practically any other industry, you will see just how successful it has managed to be during that time. Of course, this builds strong foundations for the years to come, and we can all agree that it will continue to grow.

What Does the Future Hold?

As we’ve said, the global cannabis market is projected to grow significantly. As a result, many developed countries, and those yet to develop their economies, will certainly consider cannabis legalization. In addition, many countries have already legalized cannabis for medical purposes.

But we can expect recreational legalization to reach higher numbers in the future. At the same time, it is important to point out that this will happen in waves, which means that a certain number of countries in different regions will have to pass these laws and try to form a regional market.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense since not all countries in the world have the same capacity as the United States or Germany. So, joining forces will be the only reasonable action for them to compete with the biggest players in the market. We can see something like this playing out in Africa in the future.

Summary

The potential of the cannabis industry looks endless from this point. Here, you can look at all the relevant information and how it will shape the future. We are certain you will find this insight useful in the future.

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