The Future of European Cannabis in 2024

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An AI-generated futuristic image depicting the key european landmarks next to a river

As we move into 2024, we thought it would be a great opportunity to reflect on what happened in the European medicinal cannabis market in 2023.

The year kicked off with massive hype around European adult-use cannabis legalisation. But by year’s end, progress stalled despite overtures from heavyweights like Germany. Medical cannabis, however, continued its steady march across Europe.

2024 is here, bringing exciting new opportunities in the medical and adult-use fields that align with the changing cultural landscape. With elections happening in many countries, newly elected leaders have a chance to leverage widespread public support and explore innovative access models. 

Let’s recap on 2023 and explore how some of these key markets may evolve during 2024 👇

Germany Still Leads the Way In Cannabis Legislation

Germany spent 2023 watering down its adult-use promises, missing self-imposed deadlines again and again, after passing its first parliamentary debate back in October 2022. But its long-awaited Cannabis Act should finally pass in early 2024, decisively legalising medical cannabis and decriminalising possession.

This reclassification as a non-narcotic enables simplified patient access and reimbursement. Once passed, experts expect prescriptions to skyrocket. 

Beyond emboldening patients and physicians, Germany’s Act could well be the catalyst for the rest of Europe. While commercial sales face continued EU prohibition, landmark members are licensing private “research” projects assessing legalised supply chains. 2024 may see Germany itself aiming to trial recreational sales channels post-Act.

UK Governance Continues to Create Challenges

The UK’s cannabis industry is facing challenges due to inconsistent policies. It needs clearer guidelines to fulfil its potential. There’s progress happening in medical cannabis, CBD wellness, and industrial hemp, but it’s frustratingly slow. Especially when it comes to allowing all doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis, which is currently limited to specialist prescribers – and mostly given to private prescription holders.

There’s a lot of potential for subsidies to boost the hemp industry as a sustainable material. And if the UK streamlines NHS access to medical cannabis, we could see some real progress. 

Clearer rules and pricing adjustments could give the UK market a big boost in other areas. So, if the new governance fosters innovation instead of stifling it in 2024, we could be looking at some new opportunities for the industry ahead. 

More Adult-Use Cannabis Models Emerge

While Europe isn’t quite ready for full recreational legalisation yet, some countries are leading the way with exciting new models. Cannabis Social Clubs in Germany and Spain foster small-scale community cultivation – although the city council in Barcelona already looking to tighten restrictions on these clubs. Whereas Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic erected experimental recreational supply chains under medical legal cover.

These pilot projects run by the government assess the effects of legalised sales on issues like youth access. They’re not exactly commercial-friendly, but they’re making progress in challenging established policies.

If these innovative models prove their worth in 2024, we can expect more confidence to spread among Europe’s risk-averse governments.

What Is The Investment Outlook For Medicinal Cannabis?

Cannabis has whipsawed investors for years. But 2024 may prove a turning point as long-stalled reforms hit decisive milestones globally. We’re talking about long-awaited reforms hitting those major milestones worldwide. Consumer preference is starting to outweigh those old-school prohibitionist interests, meaning valuations could finally start stabilising. 

Catalysts span across international markets; the ongoing German drug classification changes, progress in other European markets, ongoing publications of exciting medical research, and the potential of Asian market openings. As leading economies tip toward access, the floodgates may finally burst open in 2024.

For medical cannabis companies in the fight, these tailwinds offer some much-needed relief at last. Their perseverance built the infrastructure for future growth. Now the market may mature so they can reap the rewards.

AI, Blockchain Technology and the Future of Medicinal Cannabis

It would be silly of us not to mention the very big artificial elephant in the room. Of course, riding the back of this wave is AI and blockchain technology. It’s clear that the application of AI and blockchain within this sector is a key opportunity to further bolster cannabis as an accepted form of modern medicine whilst vastly improving efficiencies.

Human doctors need years of training to accurately diagnose conditions, understand treatment interactions, and determine the best therapies. But imagine if we could use AI tools and blockchain technology to boost what doctors can achieve on their own. The possibilities would be endless.

By unleashing machine learning, blockchain and AI systems could eventually identify personalised cannabis compound combinations, tackling the most persistently untreatable diseases by ingesting global medical imaging records and detecting subtle visual patterns evading human eyes, and providing real-time feedback on patient responses to specific strains.

As cannabis becomes more widely accepted in medicine, there’s a growing realisation that AI and blockchain could be the keys to unlocking its full potential. By automating the synthesis of massive amounts of data, AI can identify the specific compounds in this complex plant that can modify diseases. In the future, AI may even be able to determine which combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes can alleviate specific syndromes based on real-world patient experiences. It’s worth noting that there are some companies already working on cultivating specific genetics to do exactly that.

This future brings hope for patients who need better solutions. It means consistent relief, fair access, and treatment that’s easier to understand. Thanks to advancing technology, the possibilities are as limitless as the cannabis flower itself.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about working with Ecoinomy as we progress in the development of our project, please get in touch at [email protected]

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