In the past few years we have seen progressively more legislation in the United States that is swinging in support of marijuana, both medical and recreational. States have built billion dollar industries on the formerly banned plant and other countries have taken notice of the emerging phase of the medicinal marijuana as a drug or a recreation.
The United States hasn’t always been on the forefront of marijuana legislation, but strongly determined for its creativity and innovation in the marijuana industry. Though the United States is still limited by the overarching federally illegal status of cannabis, states have taken it upon themselves to embrace the amazing plant on their own, and left out to be most prominent country for adopting legal marijuana procedures in global markets at a pace of emerging with new laws and flourishing the economy worldwide.
Legalization of medical marijuana and decriminalization in some countries has led to a significant decrease in the black market, as people are resorting to legally purchasing cannabis for medical as well as recreational use. Moreover, government earnings through taxation is further viewed as an opportunity for countries to earn high revenues. For instance, the total tax revenue collected for the state of California in the U.S., was USD 345.2 million in 2018. Revenue generated from these taxes encourages the local governments to fund several development programs for education and infrastructure.
According to Cannabiz Media, legal marijuana business is further creating jobs and opportunities with around 9,397 licenses in U.S. including cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries, and deliverers and labs. Owing to these factors, legalization of cannabis has led to an increase in its demand in these countries and eventually eroding the black market.
Often if people think of cannabis outside of the US, there is one country that comes to mind, the Netherlands. The cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam has long been the center of cannabis in the world due to its laissez-faire openly progressive marijuana policies. Yet those who are up to date on their medicinal cannabis studies know that Israel is also the center of many marijuana innovations due to their extensive studies devoted to the health benefits of the plant. Though cannabis is still illegal in most countries in the world, here is a snapshot of the countries that are embracing marijuana in one way or another.
The Gobal Trends: Leagalizing Marijuana Market
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global Legal marijuana market is anticipated to reach a value of US$ 97.35 Bn by the end of 2026 from US$ 10.60 Bn in 2018. The market is predicted to rise at a CAGR of 32.6% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2026.
Increasing disease burden of chronic pain and growing need for effective pain management remedies on the global scale is expected to amplify the demand for legal cannabis. Similarly, high prevalence of cancer is expected to be one of the factors driving the demand. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of deaths in the world and was responsible for about 8.8 million deaths in 2015. In addition, growing disease burden of chronic pain and increasing demand for pain management therapies and significant side effect associated with opioid usage are expected to drive the demand for medical cannabis, which has proved to be a potent product for chronic pain management.
Medical marijuana held the leading market share of 70.3% in 2018. Medical marijuana is strictly categorized as a medicine prescribed by a physician and its distribution is regulated by the government programs and therefore is necessary for the suppliers to maintain a mandated quality control on the products. Over the years, medical application of cannabis has witnessed tremendous expansion as the amount of scientific literature supporting its benefits in the treatment of various diseases is growing. In recent years, several countries have legalized medical marijuana, however, its prescription depends on physician’s choice and patient’s demand. As the number of countries legalizing medical cannabis and its applications is increasing, the legal marijuana market is expected to witness robust growth in the forthcoming years.
By 2025, recreational marijuana is expected to emerge as the fastest growing segment with a CAGR of 36.4% between 2019 and 2025. Recreational cannabis is defined as any use of marijuana apart from medical purpose. Recreational use can range from it being a psychoactive drug to food ingredient. In many countries that have legalized medical marijuana, its recreational use remains illegal. Few countries like Canada, Uruguay, Colombia, and some states in U.S. have legalized recreational cannabis. Through legalization of recreational marijuana, governments are trying to eradicate the black market and focusing on gaining substantial amount of tax revenues that are levied on sale of these products.
Legalization of recreational marijuana has propelled the demand from both recreational and medical users. In countries like Canada and U.S. where recreational marijuana has been legalized, the markets have witnessed a dynamic shift from patients opting to use recreational marijuana instead of medical. This can be attributed to the easy availability, wide variety and low price. In countries where reimbursement for medical marijuana is not substantial, this shift in trend is much evidential. Nonetheless, strict regulations and restrictions on the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is restraining the market growth. Yet, launch of medical marijuana program and cultivation and distribution of the product by government of various economies is expected to boost the growth in near future.
The increasing use of medicinal marijuana is creating lucrative growth opportunities for the global cannabis market says Fortune Business Insights in their new study. The study is titled, “Cannabis: Global Market Analysis, Insights, and Forecasts, 2018 to 2026”. This report includes expert opinion from trusted sources and focusses on major factors driving and restricting the growth of the market during the forecast period, 2018 to 2026.
List of the leading companies operating in the global Legal marijuana market includes;
- Canopy Growth Corporation.
- Aurora Cannabis Inc.
- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
- Cara TherapeuticsSprott Inc.
- CanniMed Therapeutics Inc
- Harborside’s FLRish, Inc.
- Insys Therapeutics, Inc.
According to the report, hemp flower, commonly known as ‘bud,’ accounts for the majority of the global cannabis market share in terms of product type. On the other hand, concentrates based out of marijuana are leading the global market in terms of product type. The higher penetration and better availability of these products boosts the market in developed nations, leading to a significant consumer base.
Increasing Application of Medicinal Cannabis to Promote Legal marijuana market
The rising awareness about medicinal properties of marijuana is a key factor driving the global cannabis market. Marijuana can help to cure disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, anorexia, chronic pain, arthritis, and other medical conditions. Besides this, the rising legalization of marijuana in several countries of the world is boosting the market globally.
There’s major fallback of Driving Under Influence (DUI) arrests in many countries including US and Europe, since the legalizations procedures of Marijuana has started, youths are found to be purchasing them legally on purpose like Medicine and some cases like recreation. This has proven to the pros of legalizing Marijuana in global markets, in terms of framing overarching regulations for the country.
Nonetheless, what we have seen is that the drug recognition experts that do work with other substances, don’t have tests are able to make determinations, just by looking at people and having to know them with some conversations, accessing people’s abilities cognitively, looking for other signs of impairment.
Melissa Lee who has been working as a reporter and news anchor in CNBC recently said in her interview, Pro-legalization is beneficial in a way that it could help tax revenue from legal pot, which in terms helps the struggling communities, enhancing the funds job training and youth development programs.
She also added, it’s nearly impractical to do a test on the spot, if someone is driving high, to know whether or not person is under drug influence or actually not, this may be the demerits of all, I assure.
Luke Niforatos who has been working on the project, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, as a Chief of staff & senior policy advisory approached in the anti-legalization of marijuana’s stating the negative impacts of over dose and rising markets uncontrollably taking it’s space over, bringing a chaos, youths are using it as recreation as it hovers to mental illness cases, bringing the automotive fatalities in its way.
However, the growth trajectory of the market could be bumpy on account of the complex regulatory structure observed in several countries and restrictions on cannabis use in many parts of the world. In addition to this, the declining price of marijuana in the market as the products are getting increasingly commoditized, may also cause hindrance to the market growth in the forecast period.
Nevertheless, many companies operating in the hemp market are investing increasingly in the research and development of novel products for delivery solutions. This is anticipated to create lucrative growth opportunities for the global Legal marijuana market in the coming years.
The global cannabis market is highly competitive on account of the presence of many players, and the introduction of new players into the market. The rising popularity of recreational marijuana and its usage at a wider level has further intensified the competition among vendors. Additionally, the switching preferences from the hemp bud or flower to the much-processed forms such as tropical products, oils, and other edibles are promoting market players to come up with more innovative products and thereby maintain a strong foothold in the market.
Geographically, the global Legal marijuana market is anticipated to be dominated by North America owing to the government-supported medical marijuana laws imposed in the U.S. In 2012, Washington and Colorado in the U.S. were the first two cities to legalize the use of cannabis for recreational purpose. As of July 2019, about eleven states and District of Columbia in the United States have legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purpose.
On the other hand, Canada is also playing a major role in the booming market of marijuana as it recently emerged as a flag-bearer country in marijuana legalization for recreational purpose. The fact that marijuana can help treat medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, post-trauma conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, anorexia, and others is anticipated to help the cannabis market in North America in the coming years.
Based on the product type, cannabis is classified into buds, oils, and tinctures. Buds led the market in 2018 valuing at USD 7.3 billion. While oils are anticipated to witness the fastest CAGR of 20.5%, over the forecast period. Cannabis comprises a number of active compounds, especially Description Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), which can be used for the treatment of various diseases. Although it is possible to isolate and extract one type of cannabinoid from the whole plant, several physicians believe that these cannabinoids work together to get the desired effect for treatment. Physicians call it the “entourage effect” and therefore, believe in prescribing the whole bud or extracts containing all compounds. As a result, demand for the whole bud remains high.
Terpenes are the compounds that give cannabis its flavor. They also enhance the sensory experience. It’s called the entourage effect, and it refers to the way terpenes and THC work together to produce a stronger influence than either can by itself. Scientists are mining terpenes to discover the hidden characteristics of the ones we know about, and uncover any we haven’t yet identified. As we learn more about which ones produce what specific effects, we’ll start to see new and better formulations for both medicinal and recreational uses.
More than 30% of all cannabis sales in California in 2018 were vapes. We should expect other states to follow California’s lead with surging Vape Sales in 2019. Low-dose products, designed to attract new consumers to the cannabis space, will start to make a showing this year. That includes ready-to-consume edibles, beverages and vapes. Distillate oils, which are virtually odorless and tasteless, offer versatility and potency. Look for them to contribute to an explosion of new cannabis-infused products.
With Mexico moving closer to legalization, the U.S. is increasingly looking out of step with cannabis trends.
Based on medical application areas, the market is broadly categorized into chronic pain, mental disorders, cancer, and others. The largest application segment is chronic pain, which held a market share of 44.0% in 2018, due increased requirement of pain management across the globe. As per the survey data published by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in 2012, it was observed that most American adults have experienced pain at some level i.e., acute or chronic. The analysis suggests that approximately over 25 million adults experience chronic pain extending for more than 90 days consistently prior, and nearly 40 million adults reported some form of pain, which indicates a monumental opportunity in chronic pain space.
The regional landscape of the medical cannabis market comprises North America, Europe, and RoW (RoW). Owing to the presence of a large customer pool and legalization of medical marijuana in U.S. and Canada, the demand from North America is expected to remain the highest. However, the legalization in European countries, accompanied by stringent rules and regulations regarding the sale and cultivation, may limit the overall growth in Europe and in turn for the global market. North America accounted for the largest revenue share in 2018. Currently 33 states in U.S. and District of Colombia have legalized cannabis in U.S. making it the largest market in the world. Moreover, emergence of New York legal cannabis market will provide further growth opportunities for stakeholders in the country.
Uruguay and Canada have already made recreational use legal, while 30 countries (and 33 U.S. states), including Australia, Germany and Israel, have legalized some type of cannabis use. Those numbers are growing. A dozen or more countries have started on the path to full legalization of the plant.
Spain and the Netherlands allow recreational use at designated cafes. Jamaica and the Czech Republic have burgeoning cannabis tourism industries, and have acknowledged them by starting to decriminalize medical use and possession of small amounts. After taking office last year, French President Emmanuel Macron followed through on a campaign promise to eliminate mandatory prison sentences for minor cannabis possession. Colombia and Portugal have strong grassroots legalization movements and growing government support. All these countries are often listed on “most likely to legalize next” lists.
Other promising markets for Cannabis are Australia, Germany, Poland, Colombia, Uruguay and Israel. Israel is currently at the forefront of providing technology and knowledge transfer to the other world markets. Its vast knowledge in the agri space has helped the country develop new technologies for producing higher yields and new strains. Latin American countries like Uruguay and Colombia are working towards becoming the future suppliers in the global market and as U.S. remains federally closed for export, these countries may seize these opportunity in near future.
Challenges of Legalizing Marijuana in context of Nepal
Under the current narcotic drug control act 2033 the Government Of NEPAL can provide access to cannabis legally to any groups of individuals who they may designate to be eligible. Within this flexibility in the law the government has been providing cannabis to sadhus coming for ShivaRatri festival in the past. Also historically Nepal’s reservations to the Single Convention was registered in 1987 amendments for cannabis too.
Based on these facts, assumptions and arguments we feel confident that now is the right time to reintroduce our old menu from the 70s and offer cannabis as an extra to the tourists.
However, There is a law that will stand in between and stop us in doing so straight away.
It’s proposed so to avoid a protracted conversation in the parliament around legalization vs regulations or any perceived harms etc and to start with a small step which will also serve as a path for future.
Recently, Birodh Khatiwada, a politician and a member of the House Of Representatives (Nepal) elected from Makwanpur, Province No. 3, proposes lifting of the cannabis ban in the Nepali parliament for the first time in history with a compelling argument based mainly on the impact it has made poverty stricken lifes of rural areas.
Lawmaker Birodh Khatiwada, proposed the motion, which got support from 45 others lawmakers of the party in the House of Representatives.
On his talk he stated as to introduce to the House of Representatives(HR) an propelling issue related to cannabis.Justifying into the terms of cannabis legalization he claims for not arguing for the fact that Cannabis has been used for centuries as medicines, He assures everyone in the HR is known to the fact, the lord of all lords Mahadev in our religious scriptures was always found to be stoned with Cannabis, nonetheless we are the followers of him, but that doesn’t make sense on what the house needs to focused, the main theme is just to know about the positive aspects of Cannabis. The point on this debate is just to know the fact that, Cannabis is scheduled as narcotic drug under different International treaties and conventions, which limits us to its use and we are bound by these international laws, and we are aware of all these. Khatiwada clarifies the legal status of cannabis in global trends, 12 states in the US, Canada, the entire Oceana region as well as Thailand have legitimized earlier and are making income by regulating the plant for various medicinal and recreational purposes.
We on the other hand are mere witness to the lives of the poor people heavily interrupted by enforcement of the restricting laws. They are not only behind the bars for what they did but it comes as major problem like poverty, in various parts of country.
Khatiwada focuses on the current topic where Cannabis seized by the government are destroyed as per the international obligations, meanwhile the Government Herbal Medicine agency has to purchase cannabis from outside of the country.
Birod Khatiwada raises the topic, on how US, Canada and Thailand are implementing their legal cannabis programs globally while adhering to the International treaty obligation. And also urges the HR, why are we unwilling to enter into similar arrangement. Is it because we are rich is it that we have high per capita income?
Or it is because we do not like to talk about things which are stated to be illegal by national laws?
Otherwise if rich countries have found their ways around the treaties or laws and are making revolution on global trends, Why we are still lacking confidence to build on our own?
On the very moment, Khatiwada urges the government to find whatever the process or instruments that has been adopted by the rich countries, request to develop a mechanism to formulate laws and policies that will create jobs for poor communities and way to manufacture and trade of medicinal cannabis and products.
The government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Technology Gokul Baskota said the government was yet to take any steps towards legalising it.
Whatever the global trend brings, we can expect that cannabis will continue to improve, with new products, new capital and new consumers entering the space in ever-growing numbers.
As the newer markets in the global marketplace has emerged drastically, there’s can be multiple ways to import our Products to these markets in every possible ways ,only the thing is create a governing law that includes a legal structure for cannabis, Well by looking at the current global stats of imports of these products , the revenue is expected rise significantly. At last, but not the least let’s hope Nepal Government will be discussing legalization of medical marijuana and hope it emerges as the viable markets in the forthcoming years.