The European cannabis market is predicted to become a $136 billion industry by 2028, according to the fourth European Cannabis Report that was published by Prohibition Partners. This is more than four times the projected market value of the U.S. cannabis market, which is estimated to be worth $30 billion by 2025. As of February 2019, $555 million had already been invested in the European cannabis market. Further, the value of the European cannabis market increased more throughout 2018 than it did in the previous six years.
Assuming that all the countries will have legalized medical cannabis and regulated recreational use by 2023, Europe is expected to become the world’s largest legal cannabis market within the next five years, mainly due to the medical sector, which is forecast to account for up to $64 billion by 2028. Industry leaders like Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands have set their focus on expanding existing medical marijuana programs. Here are some other findings:
Europe Dominates The Medical Cannabis Sector
Both Germany and Italy are leaders in the global medical marijuana market. With a budget of $1.3 trillion for health care spending, the two countries are positioned to be cannabis market leaders. For example, Italy -- which legalized medical cannabis in 2013, before many of Europe’s other legal cannabis countries -- is expected to generate about $1.2 billion in sales by 2027, according to Arcview and BDS Analytics research.
There Are Already Plenty Of Marijuana Users In Europe
With Europe being home to more than 747 million people (more than twice the size of the American and Canadian populations combined), Europe is expected to be driving a large portion of the global demand. In fact, conservative estimates reveal that there are already 23 million people in the European Union who are using recreational cannabis, this means that about 3.3 percent of all Europeans are already using marijuana on a regular basis.
Other reports claim that there are more than 23 million cannabis users between the ages of 15 and 64 who have used cannabis in the previous year in Europe. In contrast to these very conservative estimates, another study that was conducted between 2015 and 2017 reported cannabis use to be between six and 11 percent in the top 10 European countries, with France, Italy. and Spain ranking the highest.
The Future of the Cannabis Industry in Europe
All signs point to significant growth of the cannabis industry in Europe, but with that growth will come changes.
According to The European Cannabis Report, there is a 60% to 70% chance that cannabis will be legal in Europe within the next three years. The market sizes of five key European cannabis markets by 2020 (post-legalization) are estimated in the report as follows:
France: €18.6 billion (€9.5 billion medical and €9.7 billion recreational)
United Kingdom: €18.4 billion (€8.8 billion medical and €9.6 billion recreational)
Germany: €16.2 billion (€7.7 billion medical and €8.5 billion recreational)
Italy: €15.7 billion (€7.5 billion medical and €8.2 billion recreational)
Spain: €8.3 billion (€3 billion medical and €5.3 billion recreational)