The US Market
The 30 American states that adopted some form of legislation to permit the production of cannabis since earlier in this decade, made the U.S.A. the world leader in the market, expecting to triple the sales volume within 10 years:
Canada just became the first country to fully legalize cannabis. October of 2018 marked the legalization of recreational cannabis, after 3 year of sustained growth in the medical sector:
As for the rest of the world, the potential for growth is immense, and Europe should be the next golden territory for the expansion of the industry.
The rest of the world:
First country in the world to fully legalize cannabis in 2013
Other countries expected to fully legalize the industry in the near future have Portugal on the lead: Portugal was one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to drug policy. In 2000, all drugs were decriminalized, and authorities decided to treat addiction as a medical issue and not a crime. After the recent laws permitting medical marijuana, legalizing cannabis recreationally seems like a logical next step in these progressive attitudes.
In March Greece approved a law for the production, manufacturing and sale of medical products containing cannabis, luring foreign investors. Greece’s move to let marijuana be cultivated – for medical use drawn keen interest from five groups who want the right to grow it legally.
Two of the world’s biggest companies in the sector, both from Canada, were among those showing interest. They are Aphria and Canopy Growth.
Aphria’s reported four-year plan was to develop 92,000 square meters (99,028 square feet) of greenhouses with a production capacity of more than 100 tons, creating up to 500 jobs until 2021.
Canopy Growth proposed a more than 50-million euro ($61.64 million) investment for a 50,000-square meter (53,820-square foot) area that would double in size eventually and create 500-1000 jobs, it was said.
Golden Greece Cannabis intends to grow marijuana on a 1-square kilometer (0.39 square mile) plot at Naoussa, west of Thessaloniki, and build a plant to process and produce pharmaceutical products, for a total investment starting at 400 million euros ($493.1 million) and surpass one billion euros ($1.23 billion) in two years.
Shanghai-based Europacific Medical has a 20-million-euro ($24.66 million) investment plan for Greece, as does HAPA Medical Holdings based in the Netherlands.
Medical cannabis needs a lot of heat to grow and like Portugal, Greece’s warm and sunny climate makes the country ideal for its production.
Current French President Emmanuel Macron eliminated mandatory sentences for minor marijuana crimes almost immediately after taking office. He's also suggested that he wants to change more of the country's laws related to cannabis
While marijuana is illegal in Iceland, some surveys have shown that the country has the highest percentage of adults using the drug in the entire world. Around 18 percent of Icelandic adults use cannabis. Some efforts have already begun to legalize the drug, and considering the widespread use amongst adults it should be inevitable soon.
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana isn't actually legal in The Netherlands. But consuming the drug at designated cafes is allowed and has been culturally accepted for more than 100 years. This should lead to full legalization as soon as other European countries produce legislation to legalize.
Like The Netherlands, Spain also has laws in place that allow the purchase and consumption of cannabis at some cafes. It seems only logical that the next step would be to allow other places to sell marijuana as well.
While many people look to Europe as the next place for marijuana legalization, the truth is many of those countries have such lax laws that cannabis may as well already be legal. Peru also has very lax laws, but considering they're proximity Uruguay, the first country to legalize recreational marijuana in the world, they may soon follow Uruguai.
One of Colombia's biggest efforts to eliminate drug trafficking actually involves marijuana legalization. The country has legalized medical marijuana and they actually want to become of the world's largest exporters of legal cannabis in the next few years. Legalizing the drug recreationally will be part of those plans.
The Czech Republic has actually become one of the hottest spots for cannabis tourism in Europe. The country already has fairly lax drug laws, and they also legalized medical marijuana in 2013. Considering cannabis is already playing a significant role in their tourism, they may decide to embrace it and fully legalize the drug.
While many people imagine that Jamaica is a cannabis wonderland, the drug is still illegal there. But in 2015 they decriminalized small amounts of possession and in 2016 they legalized medical marijuana. So there's clearly a growing cannabis movement in the country, and considering the country's history with the drug, it's predictable they could legalize it in the next few years.