European cannabis legaglization
European cannabis legaglization

European Cannabis Legalization - Which 5 EU Countries Will Legalize Cannabis Next?

Now that Germany has gone all in on recreational cannabis, the domino effect could be fast and furious.

Posted by:
Chiara C on Monday Feb 14, 2022

european cannabis legalization

Many European countries are scheduled to hold hearings to legalize cannabis before the next decade. Since Malta broke the ice, neighboring countries are prepared to follow the same path.

There is a global debate on the pros and cons of having cannabis laws at federal levels. In the United States, lawmakers have proposed different kinds of cannabis reforms to decriminalize the drug; similar proceedings have occurred across Asian, European, and South American countries.


Europe and Cannabis

Cannabis is not completely decriminalized in European countries. Some countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain have different levels of cannabis reforms approving the use of medical cannabis by patients suffering from a curated list of critical ailments. Germany has the most established medical cannabis market despite frequent struggles in implementing the law to meet the ever-growing demand.

The stigma on cannabis plants in Europe cannot be denied. Still, the growing accessibility of Europeans to affordable and effective cannabis drugs has helped to spread positive information on cannabis and its therapeutic potential among the European populace. So much of this information is provided to counteract the false claims about cannabis drugs that made rounds in the early 1900s.

The European continent hosts millions of cannabis lovers who currently represent a tempting target audience for international cannabis companies. The European Union is yet to approve cannabis policies to approve the use and sales of recreational cannabis on the continent; however, this is not unusual as cannabis legalization is a relatively recent proposal in Europe. All European countries have a long history of criminalizing cannabis offenders and prohibiting the drug itself until the late 1900s, when legalization advocacy started gaining support.

Malta's recent approval of adult-use cannabis will be a propelling force for other European countries to pick up the pace on their legalization processes. Now, everyone is wondering, what country would be next? There is no direct way to answer this question, as all countries are making an effort.

The road to legalization in Malta wasn't straightforward. It took years of commitment and strenuous Grassroot exercises to achieve this feat. Many experts suggest that other countries will likely take the same route.


Current Situation in European Countries On Canna-Legislations



There are high hopes as Germany approved a recreational cannabis law before the end of this current administration. The new coalition government headed by Chancellor Olaf Schuls announced recreational cannabis legalization as priorities. The new government plans to regulate the cannabis market across the continent. Thanks to its current position at the forefront of the European medical cannabis industry, achieving this may not be as tricky as it should be.

Many experts believe that the inclusion of cannabis legalization in the new administration's agenda will hasten the process. The administration has yet to release a detailed roadmap to legalization, nor has it drafted any proposal to this effect. The ambitious plan of the new government will undoubtedly draw in more investors into the well-established medical cannabis Industry in preparation for the recreational industry. Cannabis Legislation in Germany would be the biggest game-changer, and local and international cannabis companies are enthusiastic about the proposed cannabis market. The when and how of this process remains unknown for now.



For many years, lawmakers and cannabis advocates in Italy have worked tirelessly to legalize cannabis through legislative measures, but none has been successful. Recently the Italian cannabis advocates groups proposed a measure to decriminalize local cultivation of cannabis and remove all penalties for cannabis possession. The group seeks to achieve this by amending the narcotics law. The measure will be included on the ballot if the requirements are met, and voters will decide whether or not to decriminalize cannabis this year.

Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, announced some weeks ago that the coalition government would not interfere in the ongoing referendum that the cannabis advocates have organized. Right-wing parties are threatening to oppose the referendum when it is formally filed. Some advocates claim that these politicians may politicize the movement and overcrowd the discussions to demerit the issue.



Luxembourg almost legalized recreational cannabis for personal use last October; however, the legislative arm of the government failed to approve the measure. The proposed measure would have allowed residents to grow cannabis in their homes for personal use, process a specified amount of cannabis, and allow the sales of cannabis seeds.

Lawmakers said the delay in approving the bill is due to the ongoing pandemic. While the lawmakers prepare to put the bill to a vote Luxembourg government is working to refine and modify some details in the draft bill. The legislature has announced no date on when a final decision will be made on whether or not to approve the bill.



Last year Switzerland announced its plan to decriminalize cannabis and permit the production, cultivation, sales, and use of the drug. The government clarified that this legislative process might take a while. A three-year pilot project will commence in four 2022 to scientifically investigate the impact of the cannabis market on Swiss society. It is unlikely that a recreational cannabis bill will be approved this year.


Spain, France, and Portugal

In Spain, cannabis is decriminalized for cultivation and personal use, but the recent attempt to legalize recreational cannabis and the country fell through. On the other hand, France is a long way from approving recreational cannabis before it can do so; it needs to make its medical cannabis policy more accessible to residents.

Portugal also has medical cannabis legalization. It hosts a high percentage of the target market for Canadian cannabis companies. There are at least two proposed measures to legalize recreational cannabis; however, the government is yet to approve any.


Final Words

European governments are approaching the issue of cannabis legalization with caution and without haste. Many countries will instead legalize cannabis for personal use than tread the path of regulating a legal adult-use market. Germany's willingness to attempt this is commendable, and it has the most potential to succeed. Right now, no one can categorically state the following European country to approve recreational cannabis.








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