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European industry readying for cannabis legalisation, experts say

European industry readying for cannabis legalisation, experts say

Brands across Europe are taking steps to prepare for a legal cannabis marketplace, industry experts told CBD Live.

Experts from Hanway Associates and First Wednesdays spoke at the third virtual CBD and medical cannabis event, taking place between Wednesday and Friday this week.

Consultant Lily Temperton said that moves to legalise recreational cannabis are picking up speed in Portugal, Malta and Germany while Luxembourg could legalise it by the end of the year.

The emergence of legal recreational markets in Europe could also see less demand for CBD as consumers look to the whole plant and other lesser-known cannabinoids, such as CBN and CBG, the consultant said.

“We’ve seen a rapid surge of countries legalising medical cannabis and many anticipate recreational markets to come soon after.

“A lot of the CBD brands we speak to have been set up with the long term intention to pivot into recreational, so many of them are setting up their supply chains, building communities and building that loyal consumer base to gain a presence before the regulations pivot.”

Lily Temperton, Hanway Associates and First Wednesdays

There is a growing appetite to legalise cannabis in the UK, with 52% of the population supporting the idea in a recent YouGov poll.

However, both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Kier Starmer maintain that legalisation is not in the country’s best interests.

The YouGov survey showed that the highest support was among Millennials and Gen-Z.

A total of 60% of 25-49-year olds and 66% of 18-24-year olds were supportive of a legal recreational market.

Georgia Glick, Strategic Partnerships at Hanway noted that Gen-Z in particular had grown up around CBD and felt comfortable with integrating cannabis into their daily lives.

However, for brands to attract these consumers over the next five years, they will need to embrace the opportunities provided by new technology such as streaming and subscription services, she said.

“Giving your cannabis brand’s loyal audience access to behind-the-scenes content and creating a sense of community for a monthly subscription cost could prove extremely lucrative.

“It will be really interesting to see how cannabis brands capitalise on these networks as they become increasingly popular.

“We’ve seen a lot of brands have success with things like closed Facebook and Instagram groups and we think that will become very popular as consumers crave that direct communication.”

Georgia Glick, Hanway Associates and First Wednesdays

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