Which countries are likely to legalize cannabis in 2022? Industry experts are stepping in.


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Cannabis reform is intensifying across the country. With that comes a booming multinational market, with projected revenue of $ 102 billion by 2026, according to Prohibition Partners.

Global reform efforts were also hit hard at the end of the year when Malta legalized possession of up to seven grams and home cultivation earlier this month. With the third nation to be legalized now being cemented, the question naturally shifts to who will be the fourth?

Benzinga received a range of responses from various cannabis industries, spanning legal, capital, investors and consultants on this topic. Their responses showed that the prospects for legalization have never been so promising.

More than ten countries have presented themselves as possible drivers in 2022, with sources citing expected regulatory moves, statements from national officials and hunches as part of their rationale.

These are the most discussed nations among the group.

RELATED: Germany to Legalize Cannabis Sales, Only Second G7 Country to Do so

Germany

Among the many European countries mentioned, Germany is often considered as one of the future leaders of the world market. Prohibition Partners cites Germany, Israel and Australia as nations likely to develop their markets over the next five years.

Prospects for legalization intensified when the post-Angela Merkel era was finally determined, with the new coalition of progressive parties agreeing to legalize adult cannabis and promote broader drug policy reform. Germany legalized medical use in 2017.

“2022 will be the year everyone looks at Germany and how the Green Light Coalition handles Germany’s obligations to the EU and the UN,” said Jason Adelstone, associate lawyer at the firm of national cannabis lawyer Vicente Sederberg.

Adelstone and several sources believe Germany will catalyze other European countries to implement similar laws.

“You will see the other countries follow like a bushfire starting with the countries in the east of the EU and moving west,” predicted Michael Sassano, CEO of Somai Pharmaceuticals.

RELATED: Malta Becomes First European Nation To Legalize Weed

Other European countries

Several sources believe that various neighboring nations will follow Germany’s path. Adelstone noted that Switzerland and the Netherlands appear ready to implement testing programs.

The Swiss city of Zurich will soon launch a three-and-a-half-year pilot program that allows people to buy cannabis from pharmacies and cannabis clubs. A scientific study of the process and the effects of legalization will be carried out.

In July, the Dutch culture pilot program in ten cities appeared to be stuck and could miss its planned implementation in autumn 2022, according to NL Times. Blame was placed on the differences between the participating municipalities and the country’s health justice system.

Luxembourg is also set to legalize after a plan was presented this year that includes a vote in early 2022. Luxembourg has already legalized the cultivation of cannabis and its personal use through laws passed in October 2021.

“If countries like Luxembourg and Germany move forward, it could mean more,” said Laura Bianchi, founding partner of the national cannabis law firm Bianchi & Brandt.

Bianchi predicts that five to seven countries could move to adult use reform in 2022, noting that the pandemic has interrupted reform in many cases.

Sources also pointed out that Portugal, Spain and Italy were EU countries likely to join the reform movement.

Mexico

Mexico is regularly mentioned during discussions on legalization projections. Still, he didn’t reach the finish line despite a Supreme Court ruling.

Like South Africa, Mexico has been forced to change its laws following Supreme Court rulings. Yet lawmakers have fallen behind in court rulings that are several years old.

In June 2021, judges in Mexico waited no longer, voting 8-3 to legalize use by adults. However, national laws have yet to be revised by Congress.

Jorge Escalona, ​​a Mexican citizen, cannabis consultant and co-founder of the Nabis group, said national cannabis laws remain in a “lawless gray area”.

He added that the country’s medical deployment also requires a review which he hopes will lead to reform in medical and adult use.

“The Mexican Senate will amend the bill for the fourth time, and it expects it to pass in the first quarter of 2022,” Escalona added.

Along with Mexico, sources have also expressed hope for neighboring countries, including Jamaica and Costa Rica. Meanwhile, many have noted that countries in South America, including Brazil and Colombia, may reform their medical cannabis laws in 2022.

Will the United States legalize in 2022?

Few, if any, sources have mentioned the United States as a candidate for federal reform in 2022.

Rob Sechrist, chairman of Pelorus Equity Group and co-manager of the Pelorus Fund, said he did not see the GOP making any cannabis deals while President Biden was in office.

“I think we are looking at the next administration to have the next chance to legalize cannabis at the federal level,” Sechrist said.

Laura Bianchi believes banking reform will be the focus in 2022. “We could see banks and lenders treating the cannabis industry like any other industry and making it easier to do business,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Adelstone noted his interest in the bipartisan Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE), presented by Representatives Dave Joyce and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

This bill would not only help remove the stain of a cannabis conviction for millions of Americans disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, but could also put even greater pressure on Senator Schumer to ensure that ‘It authorizes a Senate vote on SAFE Banking, “Adelstone said. .

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