The number of countries to legalise medical cannabis has risen nine-fold in the last five years, as global attitudes towards cannabis have shifted in favour of liberalisation. In 2019, 43 countries have legalised medical cannabis, with a host more allowing pharmaceutical cannabis. However, international regulatory bodies and treaties lag behind public perception, domestic legislation and patient demand.
The Cannabis Legal Report(TM) is the latest industry-leading research from Prohibition Partners, strategic consultants and market intelligence providers for the cannabis industry. The report
analyses the current status of legal and regulatory regimes for cannabis around the world. Some key findings include:
— One of the main roadblocks stymying global cannabis trade is the
inability of banks to handle transactions or do business with cannabis
firms without fear of prosecution.
— Most global merger and acquisition activity involves Canadian firms
buying up local producers with consolidation and growth driven by the
big licensed producers.
— Global regulation is failing to keep pace with legalisation, and
international resolutions and trade agreements are needed to give
clarity to businesses and patients.
Prohibition Partners’ Managing Director, Daragh Anglim said: “Regulatory shifts and advances came thick and fast over the last 12 months, such as Thailand’s reform of previously conservative cannabis policies, Canada’s legalisation of adult-use cannabis and the UK’s implementation of a medical cannabis programme. We feel that international regulatory bodies and institutions need to keep pace with global legislative change to offer the clarity that businesses and patients need.”
The EU has taken initial steps to develop common standards for medical cannabis – which would go some way to producing clarity in the largest potential cannabis market. The UN, however, has delayed the reclassification of cannabis, which should be a priority according to Prohibition Partners, to better reflect the growing demand and use of cannabis as a medicine. US authorities have been slow to implement new regulations to protect legal cannabis businesses and provide banking security.
Despite this lack of clarity, thousands of patients around the world have been able to access legal medical cannabis in 2019 and Prohibition Partners predicts this growth to gain further momentum at a national level. International regulators will need to follow suit to keep pace with the widening commercial, social and health benefits associated with legal cannabis.
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The report was published on 22/08/2019, and can also be