cannabis market research

March 2024 Brief

Cannabis is now legal in Germany! Biden and Trudeau endorse timid cannabis reform in the US and Canada, while the Israeli protectionist trend reaches Australia.

Demand accelerates in AustraliaGermany and Poland. New wave of market consolidation and M&A in IsraelCanada and the UKMorocco has completed its first legal harvest, new products are registered in Portugal, and Swiss recreational pilot projects with 15,000 users anounce initial results.

Reviews address contaminant control in greenhouse cultivation.

We hope you enjoy this month’s cannabis brief!




1. Regulatory updates:


🇩🇪 Germany has legalised cannabis in the country: it will no longer be a narcotic, personal consumption and cultivation is now allowed, passed penalties are being scrapped, and cultivation associations will be set up from July 1st.


🇺🇸 US president Biden used his State of the Union address to promote cannabis reform, including mass pardons, and express suport to review the federal classification of cannabis.


🇨🇦 Canadian government has released the review of the Cannabis Act, expressing concern about high youth use rates and high-potency THC products:


🇦🇺 Australian producers call to tackle import-export disparity and raise concerns about GMP washing and the dumping of cheap Canadian products, calling on regulators to follow in Israel’s footsteps to push back against imports from Canada.


🇫🇷 French decision to eliminate flower supply in its medical cannabis scheme was motivated by the Ministry of the Interior in order to not boycott the generalisation of the scheme.


🇬🇧 UK illicit cannabis market valued at £2.6bn, driven by demand for pain relief. Three million Britons access the illicit cannabis market, with over 600,000 using it for self-medication.


🇺🇳 Harm reduction approach was endorsed by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs which met in Vienna for its 67th session.


🇪🇸 Spanish health minister does not consider the proposed medical cannabis legalisation decree to be restrictive, despite patient criticisms of a model that would leave flower outside the scheme and only allow prescriptions through specialists and hospital pharmacies.

  • Barcelona municipal council calls to create a licensing system for CBD shops, allowing it to conduct inspections and close non-compliant establishments. This follows calls to restrict activities of Cannabis Social Clubs in the city, with a new wave of inspections and legal pressure taking place during the Cannabis Week.


🇳🇱 East Amsterdam will finally not be joining the Dutch supply chain experiment, following the rejection by new parliamentary conservative majority.

  • The Hague Coffeeshop Association refuses to participate in the cannabis experiment.
  • The recreational program is in its start-up phase in two municipalities, with the expansion to further towns expected from June 17, 2024.


🇿🇦 South African president Ramaphosa could sign the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill ahead of May election, after the decriminalisation law has passed through both chambers of parliament and the National Council of Provinces. But Ramaphosa might also call for further constitutional review.


🇹🇭 Thailand‘s approach to restricting the recreational use of cannabis remains uncertain, as government is divided regarding the approach to regulating cannabis.


🇸🇪 Swedish medical regulator proposes rules for the cultivation of industrial hemp that would consider all cannabis, except fibers and seeds, as a narcotic.


🇸🇰 Slovakian Ministry of Health submitted a draft law to ban hemp cultivation for CBD production, only allowing the production of isolates of individual cannabinoids.


🇲🇰 Criminal group in Macedonia related to former mayors has been arrested – the group operated through a company registered for growing cannabis for medical purposes.


🇲🇼 Malawi amends cannabis regulations seeking to boost its foreign and domestic revenue collection related to cannabis farming for industrial and medical purposes.


🇸🇿 Eswatini wants to legalise medical cannabis to limit the black market, increase tax revenue, and empower farmers. The bill needs 3/4 approval in the House of Assembly and Senate to pass.


🇹🇳 New wave of arrests against cannabis consumers in Tunisia, while major dealers enjoy impunity.



Infographic of the month: German cannabis imports



2. Market and company updates:


🇦🇺 Australian market momentum perseveres in the first quarter of 2024, with SAS-B approvals reaching a new high, up 21% compared to the previous period, as flower remains the dominant format but vapes and pastilles are on the rise:


🇩🇪 In Germany, over 31 tonnes of cannabis were imported in 2023, a 26% increase compared to 2022, as domestic medical wholesalers get ready for the impact of legalisation:


🇬🇧 Market consolidation perseveres in the growing UK market, seeing a new round of M&A:


🇨🇦 National Cannabis Survey in Canada shows that over 1/3 of younger adults and 1/7 older adults consumed in 2023, flower and edibles were most common despite gender and age differences.


🇵🇱 Poland imported 4.6 tonnes of medical cannabis in 2023, Ministry of Health has revealed. This represents a three-fold increase compared to 2022 in the second EU cannabis market.


🇵🇹 Portuguese Infarmed approved three new cannabis derivatives, including a flower by Portocanna and two oral solutions. The approved medicines include Satalliv, Tilray Oral Solution THC 5 CBD 20, and Hexacan – Hexa 01 Alto THC 20%, which together with 1 flower product already approved from Tilray brings the number of medical cannabis approved medicines up to 4.


🇮🇱 In Israel, a new wave of insolvencies coexist with positive market momentum:


🇨🇭 First results of the Swiss recreational pilot projects have been published, as a new pilot project with 5000 consuming participants is announced to take place in Zürich, bringing the total number of users with legal access to 15,000:


🇺🇸 US-based firm BDSA published global legal cannabis sales forecast, expected to hit $58bn in 2028, with North America remaining the largest market by far.


🇲🇦 Morocco‘s 2023 inaugural legal cannabis harvest yielded 294 tonnes from 609 granted authorisations to cooperatives and farmers. Destination of production is uncertain, with both high-THC and high-CBD crops coexisting.


🇪🇸 In Spain, German medical cannabis distributor Cannaflos has merged with Spanish biotech Qunubus to focus on medicine development for women’s health, as its acquired subsidiary in Valencia receives R&D authorisation to maintain a broad genetic portfolio.


🇫🇷 French cultivation start-up Overseed unveils research program in its greenhouse near Orléans with the goal to produce the first domestic cannabis-based medicine in the country.


🇨🇿 Extract supply in the Czech medical market remains limited despite being allowed since 2022 due to draconian dosing and pricing rules, with only two manufacturers providing them while Motagon discontinued its extracts.


🇮🇹 In Italy, a new Spanish-grown Hindu Kush variety is being introduced to Italian pharmacies from Linneo Health, winner of the public tender last year.


🇺🇾 Uruguay diversifies its exports in the sixth year of international operations of its companies: Latin American markets like Brazil and Argentina increasingly important.


🇮🇪 In Ireland only 53 patients have been approved for medical cannabis, despite Health Minister supporting compassionate access when conventional treatment fails. Clinical review is underway.


🇳🇿 In New Zealand, Cannasouth has entered administration due to funding challenges.


🇲🇹 In Malta, 750 people have joined one of 7 non-profit licensed cannabis clubs to date.


🇦🇷 In Argentina, new cannabis oil with 10mg of CBD has been launched in San Juan by CanMe.


🇷🇼 In Rwanda the first license for cannabis cultivation and export has been awarded to KKOG.


3. Science updates:


🇺🇸 Case study: 54 Green Acres obtained certifications for organically grown cannabis and focused on contaminant control to pass compliance testing for Aspergillus and improve air quality.


🇺🇸 3 to 7 genetic clusters in cannabis were identified in an examination of cannabis population structure across nine collections. Modern cultivars showed broader genetic diversity than landraces.


🇬🇧 Celadon publishes feasibility study data of its CanPain trial showing medical cannabis could be cost-effective to treat chronic pain.


🇩🇪 A study on cannabis for major depressive disorder sponsored by Algea Care showed clinically significant reduction in depression severity, with treatment response seen in 50.8% of patients at week 18, and good tolerability.


🇩🇪 A Copeia-sponsored study showed 84% of patients reporting greater quality of life after using cannabis medicines to treat chronic diseases such as pain and sleep.


🇨🇿 A placebo-controlled double-blind randomised clinical trial shows that CBD reduces gingival inflammation without adverse effects.


🇺🇸 A review found that anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids can help skin wound healing, with animal studies suggesting topical application may improve postsurgical and chronic wounds.


🇯🇵 CBD administration reduced separation anxiety in cats compared to placebo.


🇺🇸 Terpene D-limonene selectively attenuated the anxiogenic effects of THC, potentially increasing the therapeutic benefits of THC in high doses.


🇮🇱 60% of Israeli medical cannabis patients provide some of their cannabis to others without a medical cannabis license, an Ariel University study concludes.


🇮🇱 SciSparc has successfully completed the manufacturing of its SCI-210 treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and will launch a clinical trial spanning 20 weeks and 60 children.


🇮🇱 InnoCann’s liposome CBD platform for neurological disorders shows potential, with a recent tissue distribution study showing CBD’s prolonged presence in the brain.


🇨🇦 Nature reports that the acute use of CBD does not impair performance compared to placebo, while THC does.


🇺🇸 A review found that unregulated CBD poses risks due to undisclosed and untested cannabinoids and contaminants, with false laboratory reports and deceptive sales practices.


🇵🇹 A longitudinal study on cannabis use by adolescents found no impairments in cognitive functioning, but adolescents with conduct problems and more socially engaged with their peers might tend to participate in light but persistent cannabis use.


🇨🇦 Analysis of the Canadian Cannabis Survey since legalisation shows that cannabis consumption increased. Consumption of dried flower and concentrates/extracts decreased, while edibles, beverages, and vape pens/cartridges increased. Legal purchasing of cannabis increased compared to social and illegal sources.


🇺🇸 Non-medical cannabis use is associated with decreased odds of subjective cognitive decline.

Tags :
Australia,Canada,Germany,Morocco,Poland,Portugal,Switzerland,United States
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