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The demand for cannabis continues to increase across Europe

A look at the data shows a constantly increasing, strong demand for cannabis-based products during the coronavirus lockdown. Often, people in Europe had to turn to the black market to purchase cannabis, because of the lack of regulation. The Netherlands remains a hotspot for cannabis cultivation, with a lot of cannabis from North Africa coming into the EU in the form of hashish.

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This picture show a person smoking cannabis.

While in the USA and Canada cannabis for adults is legal in specialist shops, people in the EU continue to be persecuted for the use of cannabis. What influence does the corona crisis have on cannabis demand in Europe?

Although cannabis is now available on prescription in some states of the European Union, overall drug policies have not changed much in terms of repression and injustice. Now there is also data on trends in consumption, in growing cannabis, and on the profitability of the cannabis industry. All policymakers in Brussels or even Berlin cannot stop the popularity of hashish and cannabis, now that people in Europe prefer smoking cannabis over drinking a beer.

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Do lockdown and quarantine have any influence on cannabis in the EU?

Hardly. A look at the data shows a constantly increasing, strong demand for cannabis-based products. More than 40 million Europeans use cannabis in one form or another – that’s a good 6% of the population.

The black market is flourishing due to ignorant legislation. All prohibitions and brutal raids do not bring a decrease in consumption, on the contrary! The dull insistence, especially in Germany, leads to a total failure of drug policy in terms of prevention and education. That is because people want to consume cannabis, especially during the pandemic. 

A look at the cannabis production in Europe

The Netherlands remains a hotspot for cannabis cultivation, with a lot of cannabis from North Africa coming into the EU in the form of hashish. Albania cultivates a lot of cannabis and, in addition, indoor self-cultivation with a lamp at home often ends up on the market, so there are no supply problems. 

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The legal cannabis producers, who extract for example high-quality cannabis oil with the sought-after cannabinoids, use techniques borrowed from overseas. A lot of consumers pay attention explicitly to the manufacturing process, they want information about the bottling and the used plant material.

Will the coronavirus pandemic lead to the legalization of cannabis?

This is the point researchers make in their current studies of data from Europe: the existing drug policy of prohibition has failed, even if this realization has not yet penetrated the glass palaces of political bosses. In order to satisfy the enormous demand for a stimulant alternative to beer and spirits in a thoughtful manner, EU policy should no longer punish cannabis consumption. It should finally respect citizens and not the least adult taxpayers.

In recent surveys, people indicated that they would rather smoke cannabis in the event of a lockdown than drink. One may well ask what legitimacy is there for continuing to ignore the needs of more than 40 million people in Europe? Especially when these citizens are supposed to pay for the big shots in Brussels and Strasbourg?

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(Featured image by djriel via Pixabay)

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First published in THC.GUIDE, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Leah Marie Angelou is an LGBTI activist and equality advocate. She has been a writer for several feminism-focused groups for nearly a decade. Her pieces are often focused on career development and the workplace. She also regularly covers personal and micro-finance, business management and entrepreneurship. Recently she has also focused on covering the promising CBD and hemp industry.