> 2022 cannabis revenue: $819.9 million (+48.6% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $551.6 million
> 2021 population: 69,950,844
> 2021 GDP: $505.95 billion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $1680.0 million (+104.9% from ’22)
In June 2022, Thailand, which had some of the world’s strictest drug laws, removed marijuana and hemp from its Category 5 narcotics list, basically decriminalizing those substances, according to The Lonely Planet. The change in legislation allows Thais to grow and sell marijuana for medical use.
But there are certain considerations. Products for food or medicine must contain very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Recreational use of marijuana, including smoking in public, is still not legal. Thai authorities are still working on draft legislation that regulates cannabis’ trade.
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $873.8 million (+42.1% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $615.1 million
> 2021 population: 83,129,285
> 2021 GDP: $4.26 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $1877.0 million (+114.8% from ’22)
Germany legalized cannabis for medical purposes in 2017, one of the first EU nations to do so, and since then it has become a hub for patients all over Europe to get access to the substance. Cannabis in Germany is illegal for recreational use, though private possession of marijuana in what is termed a “small amount” is not always listed as an offense. This amount ranges from 6 grams to 10 grams in German states, and 15 grams in Berlin, according to Marijuana Times.
German federal drug law provides for imprisonment for up to five years for illegal possession and sale of cannabis. The offender can be sentenced to up to 15 years for selling marijuana to minors.
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $1.07 billion (+21.1% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $880.3 million
> 2021 population: 17,533,405
> 2021 GDP: $1.01 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $1.96 billion (+84.0% from ’22)
The popular image of the Netherlands, in particular Amsterdam, as a freewheeling location for cannabis use in coffee shops and on the street is somewhat at odds with reality. This is because selling marijuana in coffee shops, though tolerated if used on-site, is not legal under EU law. That has led to a black market for growing and distributing it, prompting a rise in organized crime.
Amsterdam is trying to change its image from a sex and drug center to a more high-end tourist destination. Related to that, the city has reduced the number of coffee houses in recent years. The Netherlands legalized medical cannabis in 2003.
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $3.09 billion (+40.0% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $2.20 billion
> 2021 population: 38,246,108
> 2021 GDP: $1.99 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $6.39 billion (+107.0% from ’22)
In 2018, Canada became the second country in the world after Uruguay to legalize marijuana for recreational adult use. Medical cannabis has been legal since 2001. At $3.09 billion, Canada has the second-highest revenue from cannabis of any country in the world. The Cannabis Act was passed in part to reduce illicit activities related to the substance and ease the burden on the criminal justice system.
Canadian law permits an individual to buy, possess (up to 30 grams), or use cannabis and cannabis products if they are over 18, and grow up to four plants per residence for personal use. Licensed retailers can sell cannabis, including edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and topicals. Possession, producing, or distributing cannabis outside of the legal boundary can result in a fine or jail time of up to 14 years.
1. United States
> 2022 cannabis revenue: $27.90 billion (+21.8% from ’21)
> 2021 cannabis revenue: $22.91 billion
> 2021 population: 331,893,745
> 2021 GDP: $23.32 trillion
> 2027 projected cannabis revenue: $52.60 billion (+88.5% from ’22)
The United States, the most populous nation on the list, is by far the most robust market for cannabis consumption. The substance remains federally illegal. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that the government does not recognize its medical use and considers it a substance of high risk for abuse. Possessing, growing, transporting, and distributing marijuana is a federal felony.
However, the U.S. government has chosen not to interfere with states that have legalized cannabis. A number of states have moved ahead with medical and recreational cannabis programs. A total of 41 states, as well the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have medical marijuana programs, while 23 have decriminalized cannabis.
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