All eyes are currently on Canada as the country prepares to legalize recreational cannabis on October 17, becoming only the second country in the world after Uruguay to do so.
But which countries will follow suit? Where are the marijuana hotspots around the world?
Tag along as we criss-cross the globe.
Cannabis is legal in Uruguay, California, and on October 17, Canada.
But the world is a pretty big place. Let’s zoom out a little, shall we?
Despite deep spiritual ties to cannabis, India is a conservative country. Gatekeepers are coming around to the benefits of the plant, and progress is definitely being made.
But where is legalization getting really exciting?
Italy, Germany, Mexico, Colombia, Jamaica, France, Spain, Czech Republic, Paraguay — these countries could all follow Uruguay’s lead, either decriminalizing cannabis, or see local grass-roots movements gaining the momentum required to break barriers. Find out how.
ISRAEL: GROUND ZERO FOR REEFER RESEARCH
DYK? CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta refers to Israel as “the cannabis research capital of the world.”
And for good reason.
Professor Raphael Mechoulam, a scientist at Hebrew University, is credited as the first to isolate and analyze the major psychoactive (and non-psychoactive) compounds found in cannabis, which pioneered breakthrough treatment processes for medical marijuana patients around the globe.
Learn how Mechoulam started his studies back in 1964, and why many call him a “godfather” of MMJ.
JAMAICA: CLIMATE AND CONSERVATION
Jamaica: Home to some of the best landrace strains of cannabis in the entire world, thanks to the country’s optimum growing conditions.
In hopes of bolstering the supply of strains available for medical purposes, the Jamaican Medical Cannabis Collective is bringing product from the Caribbean island nation to Canada, and its 269,000-plus MMJ consumers.
The country’s complex relationship with the plant — from religious and medicinal importance to criminalization in recent decades — has also sprouted a new concern about protecting indigenous strains.
Read how JMCC is also funding a 10-year study with Jamaica’s National Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology to identify, isolate and conserve local landrace strains.
GERMANY: MAJOR MONEY MOVES
Top of the charts in overlooked cannabis markets?
Recreational weed isn’t legal in the land of Oktoberfest — yet — but the country has more than 691,000 consumers after legalizing MMJ in 2017, so expansion does seem likely.
Even more telling? National sales are predicted to reach almost $1.6 billion by 2022.
Germany isn’t the only overlooked marijuana market in the world. The UK, Switzerland, Italy, and Mexico all stand to be major cannabis investment opportunities.
URUGUAY: THE TRAILBLAZERS
“We’ve moved the frontier of what is possible.”
Remember when Uruguay legalized cannabis? The successful implementation is working well — too well, in fact, with shortages across the country.
In the meantime, lessons learned in Uruguay are relevant to Canada come October 17: Regulation is good; expanding wisely is even better