cannabis market research

April 2024 Brief

April has been a monumental month for cannabis worldwide, with the DEA endorsing rescheduling and a surge in enrolment in Germany after legalisation. Other interesting news from last month include:

  • Australian regulator pledges to increase testing on imported products.
  • Argentina wants to tighten patient registry conditions.
  • Permits for over 2,500ha already awarded this year in Morocco.
  • New Zealand medical market grows 150% year on year.
  • Japan CBD market estimated at $154 million in 2023.
  • Chronic cannabis use does not effect motivation, study finds.


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Online Webinar: Opportunities for the Uruguayan industry

[Note: the session was conducted in Spanish] Rewatch our webinar in collaboration with Uruguayan government agencies. We cover the more recent regulatory and market news in the medicinal and CBD international markets and the main export opportunities of Uruguayan companies.



🏛️ Regulation

Worldwide regulatory updates signal shifts in cannabis policy: US DEA proposes rescheduling as Florida eyes recreational legalisation. Australia prioritises quality standards for imports, while Argentina reviews its medicinal cannabis registry amidst criticisms.

💼 Market

Medical cannabis enrolment surges in Germany after legalisation. Hemp product sales rise in the USA. Canada‘s exports outpace domestic sales. Positive market signals in New Zealand, Japan and Morocco coexist with consolidation in Israel, Uruguay and other markets.


Canadian research challenges the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype, while company-sponsored studies explore the efficacy of cannabis for a diversity of conditions.

📊 Infographic

Uruguayan export data shows that over $25 million have been exported in the last few years, mostly CBD and THC flowers. Uruguay is diversifying the destination of its exports as well as increasing the product types that can be supplied.


🇺🇸 DEA has officially proposed rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III, the most significant policy change since 1970, which could streamline research, establish FDA regulation, and have economic ramifications by providing tax benefits and prompting states to reconsider policies.


🇩🇪 In Germany, the Cannabis Law has entered into force, with an immediate effect of online platforms advertising cannabis prescriptions without a medical consultation, and cannabis prisoners being released throughout the country:


🇦🇺 In Australia, the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) has reiterated that imported medicinal cannabis products must meet quality standards to be supplied to Australian patients must meet quality standards, answering the calls by domestic producers over lack of testing on imported products.


🇬🇧 In the UK, the first two safety approvals for Novel Foods applications have been granted to Cannaray and Pureis, allowing them to use CBD in supplements, beverages, and confectionery.


🇦🇷 Argentinian government will review the registry of medicinal cannabis users due to alleged irregularities in the approval process, with 90,000 requests granted on the basis of diagnoses not based on scientific evidence according to the current government.


🇨🇦 In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau has dismissed concerns about cannabis legalisation violating international treaties.

  • However, the government’s 2024 budget does not provide excise-tax relief for the legal cannabis industry despite recent recommendations advocating for tax reform.
  • Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) reports a decline in high-THC products, with some products being re-labelled with lower THC after its testing program began.


🇪🇺 A revised guideline on GACP for herbal starting materials has been published for comments, seeking to clarify the overlap with GMP which might sway regulators’ stance on ‘GMP-washing’.

  • European police arrested nine suspects and seized millions of euros over JuicyFields Ponzi scheme, which duped over 180,000 investors worldwide with over €650 million.


🇵🇹 In Portugal, pressure to liberalise domestic market is increasing. Unlocking the internal market could be the key to sustain Portugal’s competitive advantage in the cannabis market.


🇳🇱 Survey finds 60% in favour of legalisation in the Netherlands despite recent wins of anti-legalisation parties in national elections.


🇺🇾 10 years after legalisation, Uruguay needs to lift access barriers and state controls on supply to expand legal market, a report by ex-National Drug Secretary General finds.


🇫🇷 French towns want to imitate Swiss and German legalisation models: the mayor of border city Strasbourg calls for a local experimentation, while Green mayor of Bègles, near Bordeaux, unveils its controlled legalisation pilot project aiming to reduce ill-effects of prohibition.


🇨🇭 Popular initiative in Switzerland seeks to amend Federal Constitution to recognise home cultivation, possession and sale of cannabis. If 100,000 signatures are collected before November 2025, a binding popular vote will be held in the country.


🇧🇪 In Belgium, the Senate has approved an information report recommending decriminalisation and a new legal framework for cannabis, but it has lacked support from Flemish parties ahead of crucial federal election in June 2024.


🇵🇰 Pakistan new ruling coalition wants to move fast with establishing a hemp regulatory authority to begin licensing producers in some areas of the country, with the goal to produce medicines and substitute dwindling cotton crops.


🇧🇷 A high-level visit of Brazilian President Lula has discussed the export of medicinal cannabis from Colombia with President Gustavo Petro, seeking to homologate regulations for importation.


🇨🇿 Czech government prepares further synthetic cannabinoid bans after backtracking on its decision to allow HHC, which has prompted the replacement with more toxic substances.


🇧🇬 Bulgarian National Assembly rejects a bill amending narcotic regulations to allow the processing of industrial hemp in Bulgaria in addition to growing.


🇮🇪 Irish parliament delays nominating members for committee which would implement the decriminalisation recommendations of its Citizens Assembly ahead of next general election.


🇮🇱 Israel has become a major supplier of illicit cannabis to the Arab world, particularly Jordan thanks to the drop in cannabis prices in the country.


🇲🇽 Mexico’s president López-Obrador accuses ex-President Vicente Fox of granting licenses to sell cannabis derivatives to companies related to him, allegations that he denies.


Cannabis Exports from Uruguay
Cannabis exports from Uruguay

🇩🇪 In Germany, the medical cannabis market has received a boost with 70,000 new patients enrolled in the first weeks of legalisation, thanks to more doctors being willing to prescribe and low prices attracting illicit market users to private prescriptions through online pharmacies:


🇺🇸 In the USA, cannabis tax revenues are falling short of projections in many states, including Colorado and Washington, due to price drops. Meanwhile, sales of hemp products have surged despite concerns about their safety and lack of oversight. THCA hemp flower is becoming more accessible and competitive with regular cannabis due to similar pricing.


🇬🇧 In the UK, concerns regarding product quality are mounting with patients reporting cannabis contaminated with mould, bugs, and other substances. Criticism includes quasi-recreational naming of available products, while some believe legacy variety names are helpful indicators.


🇨🇦 In Canada, export data shows permits vastly overpassing actual deliveries, an strategy by exporters to enable seamless trade, as slightly under 10 tonnes are currently exported every month:


🇦🇺 In Australia, new extract dosage forms such as vapes are gaining popularity in the market. Gummies in particular are being more demanded and now represent 4% of SAS-B approvals:


🇳🇿 In New Zealand, increased by 150% in 2023 with over 150,000 packs dispensed in 2023 compared to 60,000 in 2022, Helius CEO says:


🇮🇱 In Israel, the number of medical cannabis patients in Israel is sharply declining in the last months, with a total decrease of nearly 6,000 patients.


🇵🇱 Israeli company Bazelet is entering the Polish medical market with a new 20% strain, distributed by partner distributor IMP&C.


🇲🇦 Production permits have soared in Morocco at the beginning of this year to 2905 authorisations for 2,552 hectares.

  • The cannabis agency also said that 42 products have been manufactured to date, including cosmetics and food supplements, 7 of which have been registered.
  • Exports to date have included 65.5kg to Switzerland, with another 30kg hash export underway.
  • The country has unveiled an official logo for legalised cannabis products, seeking to distinguish them from illegal ones in the market.


🇫🇷 French study finds that 16.4% of French adults had used CBD in the past year, mostly among younger people with higher education with a history of tobacco and e-cigarette.


🇪🇸 South Spain MIFCO Biosciences partners with Canadian Apollo Green to supply innovative tissue culture services to Southern European LPs.


🇵🇹 In Portugal, only 17kg of cannabis were sold in the domestic market in 2023 while 11 tonnes were exported to international markets.


🇨🇭 In Switzerland, a pilot project has been launched in the cities of Bern, Biel/Bienne and Lucerne, with over 1,000 people expected to participate:


🇨🇴 Colombian cannabis leader Clever Leaves voluntarily delists from NASDAQ.


🇧🇷 In Brazil, medicinal CBD specialist Ease Labs announces a new funding round of 40 million reais ($7.8 million) to fund commercial expansion of own manufactured products in public schemes.


🇺🇾 Sector consolidation perseveres in Uruguay with the closure of Pharmin and the sale of Boreal’s medicinal cannabis plant.

  • GreenMed launches Xpectra 10, the first product with authorisation by the Ministry of Health.


🇲🇰 Phcann has teamed up with Tyson 2.0 to cultivate, manufacture and distribute its branded THC range in Germany and the UK, despite a previous agreement with Israeli company Intercure also involving exclusive distribution rights in international markets.


🇿🇦 In South Africa, Medigrow pledges R1 billion ($54m) investment in Eastern Cape province in an agreement with the government with the goal to cultivate 10,000 hectares creating 30,000 jobs, incuding an indoor cannabis grow and processing plant at Coega Special Economic Zone.


🇹🇭 In Thailand, Canadian-Colombian PharmaCielo signed a LOI to acquire operations with $2 million non-brokered private placement.


🇯🇵 Japan‘s CBD market said to have grown sixfold to Â¥24 billion ($154 million) in 2023, with cannabis laws amendment in December expected to further accelerate market growth.


🇭🇷 In Croatia, German publicly traded company Synbiotic has acquired Ilesol Pharmaceuticals, a Croatian company specialising in cannabinoid extracts and CBD isolates.


🇪🇨 In Ecuador, Cooperativa Ananda has partnered with CarbonConnect to optimize biochar production and certify carbon credits in Ecuador’s Amazon.


🇵🇾 International companies are interested in investing in Paraguay’s Industrial Hemp sector, including American company Hempacco Inc. and Israeli company Stick


🇨🇦 Study dismisses ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype: chronic cannabis use associated with increased positive emotions & reduced stress and fear, not affecting motivation or willingness to exert mental effort.


🇩🇪 Avextra has started enrolling participants for the Belcanto clinical trial on cancer palliative care.


🇩🇰 Tetra Pharm collaborates with Glysious to develop transdermal combination drugs targeting the endocannabinoid system.


🇨🇦 Tilray study on age-related patterns of medical cannabis use finds that chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, and insomnia as primary illnesses and 53.8% reducing prescription opioid use.


🇨🇦 Avicanna completed an observational real-world evidence study on a topical gel for musculoskeletal pain and inflammation, showing improvements in symptoms and quality of life.


🇨🇦 Kinloch‘s Serene™ CBD Green Apple Gummy Drop was found ~3X more effective than the Comparator at increasing relaxation in a study.


🇦🇺 Cannim begins enrollment for a study on menstrual pain with Western Sidney University.


🇦🇺 OMG Pharma Australia partners with dsm-firmenich (Brains Bio) for fast-absorption CBD in upcoming phase III insomnia clinical trial.


🇬🇧 A Curaleaf study evaluated the outcomes of osteoarthritis medical cannabis patients showing improvements in patient-reported pain measures and general health-related quality of life metrics.


🇦🇺 Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies appoints CRO for phase I clinical trial on OCT130401, a combination of synthetic phytocannabinoids, aims to treat trigeminal neuralgia.


🇳🇱 Study on the efficacy of high-THC cannabis oil for neuropathic pain started by Leiden University Medical Center and Center for Human Drug Research in collaboration with Bedrocan.


🇨🇴 A study in Barranquilla, Colombia looked at topical cannabis use as an analgesic therapy for inflammatory diseases was studied, with all patients experiencing pain relief after two months.


🇮🇹 Results of a study supports the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and Beta-Caryophyllene alone or combined in an in vitro model.


🇬🇧 α-humulene shows potential therapeutic applications and cytotoxicity against adenocarcinomas in rodent studies, reducing inflammation markers and exhibiting cannabimimetic properties.


🇺🇸 Study investigated dietary fat and delivery system on CBG pharmacokinetics: high-fat meal condition affected CBG pharmacokinetics even more than delivery system emulsification.


🇺🇸 Study examines the impact of cannabis use on orgasm difficulty in women, with findings suggesting that cannabis use before sex may improve orgasm function in women.


🇺🇸 Study examined effects of oral CBD on menstrual-related symptoms (MRS), with both dosing groups showing reductions in MRS, irritability, anxiety, stress, and subjective severity scores.


🇨🇦 Genome-wide association studies investigate the genetic factors influencing agronomic and morphological traits of drug-type cannabis.


🇺🇸 Study investigates photoperiodic flowering initiation in cannabis and its potential for improving cultivation by manipulating gene expression through far red wavelength ratios.


🇺🇸 A study on rolling papers used for cannabis consumption shows that they can contain elevated levels of potentially toxic elements, like copper, with product design and manufacturing practices, such as the use of copper-based inks, contributing to increased exposure to toxic elements.


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Argentina,Australia,Canada,Germany,Israel,Morocco,United States,Uruguay
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