$136 Billion Reasons To Get Into The European Cannabis Market

The European cannabis market is predicted to become a $136 billion industry by 2028, according to the fourth European Cannabis Report that was published by Prohibition Partners. This is more than four times the projected market value of the U.S. cannabis market, which is estimated to be worth $30 billion by 2025. As of February 2019, $555 million had already been invested in the European cannabis market. Further, the value of the European cannabis market increased more throughout 2018 than it did in the previous six years.

Assuming that all the countries will have legalized medical cannabis and regulated recreational use by 2023, Europe is expected to become the world’s largest legal cannabis market within the next five years, mainly due to the medical sector, which is forecast to account for up to $64 billion by 2028. Industry leaders like Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands have set their focus on expanding existing medical marijuana programs. Here are some other findings:

Europe Dominates The Medical Cannabis Sector

Both Germany and Italy are leaders in the global medical marijuana market. With a budget of $1.3 trillion for health care spending, the two countries are positioned to be cannabis market leaders. For example, Italy — which legalized medical cannabis in 2013, before many of Europe’s other legal cannabis countries — is expected to generate about $1.2 billion in sales by 2027, according to Arcview and BDS Analytics research.

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There Are Already Plenty Of Marijuana Users In Europe

With Europe being home to more than 747 million people (more than twice the size of the American and Canadian populations combined), Europe is expected to be driving a large portion of the global demand. In fact, conservative estimates reveal that there are already 23 million people in the European Union who are using recreational cannabis, this means that about 3.3 percent of all Europeans are already using marijuana on a regular basis.

Other reports claim that there are more than 23 million cannabis users between the ages of 15 and 64 who have used cannabis in the previous year in Europe. In contrast to these very conservative estimates, another study that was conducted between 2015 and 2017 reported cannabis use to be between six and 11 percent in the top 10 European countries, with France, Italy. and Spain ranking the highest.

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The European Hemp Market Is On The Rise

Today, the industrial hemp industry in Europe is worth at least $1 billion, which is a large chunk of the global hemp industry’s value currently valued at about $3.7 billion. The top players in the European hemp market are France, which accounts for nearly half of the entire European hemp production, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Romania.

Estonia has also invested large sums into this sector, and the region is projected to become the second-largest hemp-growing place after France.

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But The U.S. Remains The King Of CBD — For Now

According to a report by Orion Research, Europe already accounts for one-third of the global CBD market share, which puts it right behind North America. But this could change. Europe’s CBD market is far less regulated than its US counterpart, so its market share could drastically increase as soon as legislations are set in place.

Still, the U.S. will most likely remain at the top of the CBD market, as the American CBD market is estimated to be worth around $20 billion by 2024, while the European CBD market value is projected to be worth only about $1.7 billion by 2023. Therefore, the U.S. cannabis market will probably remain the biggest recreational market, as the annual sales of medical marijuana in the U.S. are expected to grow to $13.1 billion by 2025, with the recreational marijuana market even being expected to grow to $16.6 billion.

Whatever the case, Europe is poised to be a big player in the cannabis space in the coming years.


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This article originally appeared on entrepreneur.com

Konstantin Kaiser