Global Responses to the Cannabis Trade

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Cannabis is on a roll, there is no doubt about that. With the recent legalization here in Canada, many other countries are starting to jump on board the cannabis train. This leaves many of us wondering, how will this affect the global cannabis market in the foreseeable future? To start, the Canadian cannabis market alone is projected to be worth more than $4.9 billion by 2020!

Historically, the transport and sale of cannabis across borders has always existed, but it has mostly only existed through the Black Market, or the illegal drug market. Now that cannabis is legal in Canada, this may change. We may soon be able to trade cannabis goods and products across national lines legally, or at least it looks like it could be on the horizon.

Around the world, attitudes surrounding cannabis culture are beginning to shift. One country after another is starting to see cannabis in a different light, one that no longer considers cannabis a drug but as a something that could one day be as normalized as alcohol. Mexico’s new government plans to legalize cannabis use, as well as parts of the United States. Many nations have not entirely legalized cannabis use, but have enacted varying degrees of legal cannabis use including both medical and recreational use. To satisfy the needs of the quickly growing legal cannabis market, many countries have begun importing and exporting cannabis in large quantities. For example, Germany has already gained around 750,000 registered medical cannabis patients since the legalization of cannabis a few years ago, and have been importing cannabis products from Canada to satisfy the demand. With these countries beginning to move towards some form of legalization, many are also stuck trying to catch up.

As government opinions begin to change about cannabis and the potential money-making abilities that it could bring, public opinion is also changing. A big influence is because of how the media is portraying marijuana use. Support for legalization of marijuana is continuing to increase as many popular news media outlets are highlighting the potential benefits that cannabis can provide individuals suffering from various illnesses and conditions. The idea that cannabis can substantially improve the quality of life for so many individuals has many people turning away from the idea of cannabis as a drug and more as a medicine.

Despite the growing popularity of cannabis around the world, The UN World Health Organization is still ambivalent towards legalization of recreational cannabis. The UN has been notoriously known for adopting an anti-cannabis stance, and promoting it’s views through mainstream media by talking about the harmfulness of cannabis and why it is bad, ignoring the potential benefits it has. However with push from the public, the UN is beginning to adopt more modern views on cannabis, and conversations about changing the way cannabis is regarded, are being had.



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