Germany, Italy, and Denmark are the most progressive countries in Europe, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic said in a Wednesday report on the cannabis industry with takeaways from the MedCann World Forum.
“Although Germany is seen as the 'holy grail' given its population and state of progress, most speakers highlighted the Denmark model as one to emulate.”
The European countries are focusing on flower and oil, while France and the U.K. are more oriented toward pharmaceuticals, the analyst said.
“Harmonization was a buzz word among the speakers, with the hope that EU countries will adopt a clear and consistent set of guidelines for medical cannabis. Legalization of recreational cannabis is not seen as 'being in the agenda' in Europe, although Spain could be the closest.”
Consumer CBD is becoming more popular in countries where medical cannabis is not widespread, even though in some places it is unregulated, he said.
Positive Projections For Germany; Local Cultivation Won’t Endanger Imports
Germany legalized medical cannabis in 2017 and has seen slow progress since then, partly due to the fact that the legislation was forced by a lawsuit, Zuanic said.
The country has about 40,000 registered medical cannabis patients, the analyst said — a small number that represents only 0.04% of the population versus 2-3% in most U.S. medical states, the analyst said.
Only 1,000 doctors in Germany prescribe medical cannabis, and insurance companies reject 40% of the reimbursements for their prescriptions, he said.
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“Still, despite all these challenges, legal med consumption is projected at 4 tons for 2019, doubling by 2020 and reaching 10-12 tons by 2023.”
While local cannabis growing in Germany should start by the end of 2020, Zuanic said there will still be enough room for imports based on demand projections.
“We estimate the 12-ton projection by 2023 would be equivalent to $12 of med spend per person (vs. $58 in CO, $22 in IL, and $15 in Canada).”
Bright Outlook Overall
Despite slow overall progress in Europe, most speakers at the MedCann conference are enthusiastic about the outlook, Zuanic said.
“EMMAC (NC), a leading European cannabis company in Europe, sees an $8.3Bn market in Europe by 2023 from a mix of medical cannabis and CBD, including cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and hemp foods.”