> 2022 cannabis revenue: $284.3 million (+25.0% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $227.4 million
> 2021 population: 67,499,343
> 2021 GDP: $2.96 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $552.8 million (+94.4% from ’22)
The French government issued a decree in February 2022 authorizing the cultivation of medical cannabis and the development of its industry. The legislation only specifies the conditions and procedures for the cultivation and production of cannabis for medical use and not its regulation. France has one of the strictest cannabis policies in the European Union, even though cannabis consumption is among the highest in Europe. Possessing cannabis can get a violator a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of over $4,000.
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $308.1 million (+36.1% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $226.4 million
> 2021 population: 25,739,256
> 2021 GDP: $1.55 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $659.1 million (+113.9% from ’22)
Australia legalized medical cannabis in 2016, but patients there have decried the program as too restrictive. Access to cannabis-based medicines remains behind that of many other legal cannabis jurisdictions. Recreational cannabis remains illegal on the federal level. The enforcement of cannabis laws and the penalties vary from one territory to another.
Cannabis is by far the most popular illicit drug in Australia. A survey published in July 2020 found that 41% of Australians support cannabis legalization, nearly double the level of support found in a 2007 survey (21%). A significant action toward legalization occurred in September 2019, when the Australian Capital Territory legalized cannabis possession up to 50 grams.
8. United Kingdom
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $346.4 million (+48.6% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $233.1 million
> 2021 population: 67,326,569
> 2021 GDP: $3.13 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $708.3 million (+104.5% from ’22)
The U.K. legalized medical cannabis in November 2018, but the program has been criticized because of lack of access to medicine and approval of patients. In 2004, the government reclassified cannabis to a Class C drug from a Class B, but the decision was rescinded five years later. Possession of a Class B drug carries a penalty of three months or a £2,500 fine and up to five years in prison. A 2018 poll found that 59% of British respondents back legalization.
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $652.8 million (+38.5% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $471.3 million
> 2021 population: 47,326,687
> 2021 GDP: $1.43 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $1348.0 million (+106.5% from ’22)
The cannabis laws in Spain are somewhat complicated. It is legal to buy seeds and growing equipment, but it is illegal to sell cannabis in Spain. Possession and consumption of cannabis are decriminalized, though it is not explicitly legal. Growing cannabis plants in visible places may result in fines. There are no legal penalties with possessing or smoking cannabis, but it cannot be smoked in public.
Spain has so-called cannabis clubs that operate under the loophole of private consumption. The nation on the Iberian Peninsula issues only a few licenses for medical and scientific cannabis research.
6. South Africa
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $678.1 million (+48.6% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $456.2 million
> 2021 population: 60,041,996
> 2021 GDP: $419.02 billion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $1389.0 million (+104.8% from ’22)
Cannabis laws are pretty liberal in South Africa, where it has been decriminalized. A 2018 court ruling determined that prohibition of cannabis violated the right to privacy. This set in motion momentum to implement legal cannabis. A proposed Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill would allow adults to possess up to 600 grams of cannabis per person in private, 100 grams in public, and 1,200 grams per household. Cultivation of up to four plants per person would be permitted.
A 2017 amendment to the nation’s Medicines Act allows South Africans to buy and use cannabis for medical purposes.
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