“No other industry has had this level of traction so quickly since the end of the other prohibition era…”


Prohibition Partners, recently released an in-depth European Cannabis Report, that charts the commercial opportunity of a legal cannabis market in Europe. We pulled out some highlights of their report, based on their intelligence and insight, to help you understand a little bit more about the opportunity in Europe today. For more information about some of the more pressing questions facing the European market, sign up to receive their report, and join us in London this October at CannaTech where we will continue to unpack all these ideas.


Question: Is Medical Cannabis legal in Europe?

Answer: It depends where in Europe. 

Certain European countries have legalised medicinal or “adult-use” cannabis, though this report highlights inconsistencies across the supply chain from country to country. This report estimates that medical cannabis will be legal throughout Europe within the next 3 years

“Legalization, regulation and harmonisation will provide the certainty required to allow domestic players to move across borders and invest for growth and scale.”


Question: Which European countries are the most conservative regarding medical cannabis?

Answer: Norway, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Question: Which European countries are the most conservative regarding adult-use/recreational cannabis?

Answer: Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

European cannabis report - recreational cannabis in europe

Question: How large is the industrial hemp industry in Europe?

Answer: Between 2013-2016 some 79,500 tons of hemp were produced across Europe. In 2016, 25,000 hectares of European land was used for the cultivation of hemp, equating to an estimated value of €40 million. However, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) estimate that number to be much higher at 33,000 hectares in 2016 having been on a steady incline since 2012.

Europe, particularly France and Finland, have a long history using hemp for fibres, construction material and textiles, though in the last 25 years this sector has come into bloom, increasing production by upwards of 500% (that’s 250% in lt 8 years).

European Hemp Market - market analysis from prohibition partners

Question: Who are the emerging players in the European Cannabis Market?

Answer:  It is conservatively estimated that the European cannabis market is worth €18 billion. This hefty figure only accounts for Europe’s eight largest markets. It is suggested that initially, Israel, Netherlands and Spain are likely to emerge as the main players as the cannabis market expands in Europe.

Question: What about Europe’s adult (recreational) market?

Answer:  The report states that though there has been progress regarding recreational cannabis, such as  cannabis social clubs (legal in Belgium, Spain, Netherlands and Slovenia) and sporadic decriminalisation, it is not a priority of European legislators to legalise recreational use. Though they do estimate that recreational cannabis will also be legalised in the not so distant future.

60-70% probability that cannabis will be legalized across  Europe in the next 3-5 years

Question: Where is Europe in the cannabis industry life-cycle?

Answer: Due to the fragmented nature of the current cannabis climate, this report states that Europe is currently in the development stage. Though it is predicted that once regulatory and legal frameworks are clarified, the industry will quickly progress through the ‘growth’ and ‘shake out’ phases.

insights and intelligence about cannabis consumer patterns

Question: What trends will impact the industry?


banking icon


Given the current structure and complexity of legislation, Europe has an opportunity to be leaders and are hoping to create a framework to directly comply with the European Banking Authority.


By highlight the current flood of capital in the US that is currently causing over-priced investments, Europe is positioning itself as a “green field of opportunity”

light bulb icon

Consumer perception

Promoting professionalism within all sectors of the supply chain will aid in removing the negative stereotypes and broaden the range of consumers.


Canadian Leaf

 Canadian Legislation

The authors postulate that Europe feels more aligned with Canadian  than the USA and anticipates that they will likely formulate their legislation surrounding successes they seen in the Canadian model.

Advanced Clinical Research

Clinical research should be the cornerstone of the global debate on legislation and regulation around cannabis. According to this report, Canada and the USA are leading the push for advanced clinical research, though we here at iCAN would submit Israel at the helm. 

Wrap Up & Take Away’s:

This well-researched report highlights the mistakes, victories and challenges that cannabis markets around the world face. The US specifically has much to gain from this unique perspective.This is an excellent global analysis that allows the savvy investor, the bold entrepreneur & the hopeful patient a road map to the European cannabis market and a peek into the future of cannabis world-wide. 

*All images credited to Prohibition Partners European Cannabis Report.



Pin It on Pinterest