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2024 New Global Emerging Cannabis Markets Predictions

2024 New Global Emerging Cannabis Markets Predictions

As the entire cannabis world is abuzz and cannabis stocks are shooting through the roof with the potential United States rescheduling of cannabis to Schedule III and Germany likely rescheduling cannabis off the narcotics list, forecasters are looking beyond the major markets of U.S., Canada and even past global cannabis market leaders like Germany, Australia and to some extent the United Kingdom. 

The International Cannabis Market Boom Is Imminent

This author believes global cannabis markets will explode with regulatory announcements country-by-country throughout 2024 and that the recent 252-page U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) letter and supporting report highlighting safety for the population and 15 medical benefits of cannabis and references the largest data set of 30,000 prescribing physicians and 6,000,000 patients across the US,  will undoubtedly be the talk of all regulators around the globe in 2024.

Although predicting regulatory movements is risky and predictions rarely come true, here are a few of 2024’s global cannabis potential emerging countries that have made announcements and look fairly certain to move: Switzerland, Czechia, Brazil, Thailand, Ukraine and Spain.

Swiss Cannabis Setting Foundations For A Successful Market

Switzerland has been working toward a broad framework for some time. Now, it is evident that social clubs are indeed opening, and pharmacies specializing in dispensing cannabis are selling

With Switzerland already operating sales, it will only be a matter of time before cannabis entrepreneurs push the limits to open more clubs and specialized pharmacies to increase access in Swiss markets. Additionally, it is widely believed Switzerland will continue to relax consumer access rules, making these initial moves essential building blocks.

Czechia Reins In Adult-Use Cannabis Ambitions Post Germany-EU Tiff

Czechia has been making cannabis reform waves for many years and, for the most part, already has an existing but small medical market. 

Last year, Czechia boldly said they would go full adult-use. But, after seeing Germany tone it down when faced with European Union opposition, Czechia announced they would follow a similar road to Germany — decriminalization, social clubs and broad medical cannabis access

Tucked under the safety of similar German regulations, it seems more and more likely that Czechia will go forward with this watered-down full adult-use program for a more pragmatic and EU-accepted regulatory framework. 

Brazil Finally Launches Long-Awaited Cannabis Medical Market

Brazil seemed like a country without many hurdles to legalization, but political powers held back regulations and finally offered the first prong of legal medical cannabis. Although the initial plan was for CBD products, they are now importing THC products, though each product must have more CBD than THC

For example, the popular 0:100 THC:CBD ratio (zero THC and 100mg CBD dosage form) was an early importable extracted product. Now, 10:100 THC:CBD can be imported. Other rules, such as standards for an Advisory Committee on Medicine (ACM) market authorization, must be completed in 5 years. Regardless, it is now certain Brazil’s 220-million-person population will have access to medical cannabis in 2024 and that regulations will only improve over time.

Thailand’s Medical Market Will Thrive Despite Adult-Use Backpedal

Thailand has been a head-scratcher; one day, they are fully adult-use, and — much like New York Citythousands of illicit dispensaries popped up overnight. Now, the government is backpedaling to full medical access. It’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle, but one thing is certain: even if they cannot pull back the illicit market, they look very likely to have an established medical cannabis framework. 

Watching Thailand for years will teach anyone to expect the unexpected. To some extent, although Thailand has always had a booming illicit market where Thai sticks and corresponding eponymic strains came from, most countries are starting to see that a respectable medical access market is also a critical step toward legalization.

Conflict In Ukraine Vaults Veteran Cannabis Access To Global Stage

Ukraine has forwarded an advanced bill through its governmental procedures review process to give access to medical cannabis. 

Already, scientific groups are lining up to study the effects of cannabis for war-torn PTSD patients that may help veteran policy around the world. Already, U.S. groups lobbying for U.S. veteran access have hailed the usage of cannabis in Ukraine. Although the initial law will focus on only a few indications, increased access is coming. It’s hard to imagine why Ukraine wouldn’t pass such a law, and most likely, they will.

Spain Will Hopefully Capture Shares Of The Illicit Market With Medical

Spain is clearly one of the potential largest European cannabis markets based on illicit cultivation data, and it seems that the Health Ministry will be coming out with long-awaited cannabis rules “in line with global standards.”

Spain has been a bit of a political anomaly since anyone can walk into one of hundreds of cannabis clubs and pick up illicit market cannabis. However, if you want legally made medicinal quality products, there still is no framework to buy and sell global medical cannabis products in Spain. For anyone watching Spain’s cannabis regulation flip-flops, it sure looks like a tennis match. Ideally, this is just politics and a few strong lobbyists for pharma, but common sense and practical policy needs are prevailing and there is urgency to create a safe and reliable cannabis supply for patients. 

Medical Cannabis Will Proliferate Globally In 2024

Although there are many more notable countries — like France, which may extend their pilot program; the UK, which may increase access to medical cannabis; Albania, which has made steps for internal production and may open to internal consumption; Malta and Luxembourg still moving forward — there still needs much more progress globally. 

At a minimum, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and HHS report on the safety of cannabis as a medicine is going to help emerging countries, even if the pathway for each country isn’t clear. A broad medical cannabis framework is the most safe way to provide access to patients around the world. 2024 is getting exciting, and medical cannabis is on everyone’s minds!