Results are in. Marijuana is winning the so-called “war on drugs”. And it’s doing it with increased sales, scientific data, greater demand and growth. Amidst the pandemic marijuana, once prohibited, became labeled as necessary and beneficial.
Patients need their treatment. Others need the relief only recreational use of marijuana can provide.
The pandemic forced lawmakers to re-examine their views on marijuana. Many of their younger constituents support marijuana regulation and they must comply. The world is aglow with the changes in favor.
This article will examine the numbers coming out of three EU member states. We take a closer look at
- Number of patients
- Quantities sold
- Insurance reimbursements
- Popular surveys
These give a clearer picture of how the marijuana industry is growing today.
In the Czech Republic
Sales of medical marijuana are up in a major way. Marijuana sales in 2020 quadrupled the amount from the previous year. The fourfold increase in sales is confirmed by the Office of the Government’s Drug Policy, the Ministry of Health, and the Public Institute for Drug Control.
Marijuana sales have risen year-after-year in the country. However the four-time increase last year was significantly greater than years before. The suspected reason? Health insurance increased the amount of their payments for marijuana treatment.
Last year health insurance paid for 90% of the cost of marijuana, a much higher amount than in the previous years. However, patients were not given unlimited amounts. Health insurance capped the amount of marijuana they would pay for at 30 grams a month.
The limit on amounts didn’t hinder patients from joining. Last year 1103 Czech patients received a prescription for marijuana. This figure represented a significant increase from 434 prescriptions the year before.
The number of doctors prescribing also increased. In 2019, 78 doctors could prescribe medical marijuana therapy. By the end of 2020, this number grew to 123.
Use of prescription medical marijuana has been legal in Prague since 2013. Since then the Czech medical marijuana industry has seen exponential growth.
Denmark also witnessed exponential growth last year. The Danish medical marijuana market grew. Sales of medical marijuana were up in the third quarter by 3 million Danish Kroner. This represents an increase of more than 20% in one quarter. Experts believe this sudden increase is due to the drug Epidolex – the brand name of the first plant-derived, purified medical-grade cannabidiol pharmaceutical.
The total of all cannabis sales in 2020 was close to 15.7 million Danish Kroner. Total sales are divided as follows:
- Marijuana pilot program: 12%
- Magestral preparations (pure THC and pure CBD): nearly 50%
- Finished pharmaceutical products with marketing authorization: about 33%
- Non-authorized pharmaceutical products: about 6%
The rise of total sales revenue in the third quarter of last year goes hand in hand with the introduction of Epidolex into the Danish market in mid 2020.
As the Danish pilot program develops and more patients begin treatment it is likely the sale of marijuana flower will increase. Only time will tell.
Sales revenues are up as well in Poland. The evidence? An increase in the amount of cannabis flower imports. Around 168 kilograms of marijuana came into Poland in 2020. This amount is around 100 kilograms more than the previous year.
Poland’s imports aren’t huge. This may have to do with patient access. The difficult Polish process deters people who need treatment from signing up. The hope is as infrastructure develops patient access will open up and marijuana imports will increase.
Acceptance of adult-use marijuana is going up. A survey published at the beginning of this year reveals the growing numbers in favor of a regulated adult-use market.
Of the adult survey participants, 51% believe the present ban on recreational marijuana should remain as in place. The good news is this number has gone down from the previous years.
By contrast, the number of people who approved lifting the ban and regulating adult-use marijuana has grown to 46% its highest level yet. Most people who are in favor are younger. Those most opposed are members of the older age groups. As more youth become voting adults we will likely see more legislative support for recreational marijuana.
As for the small percentage of undecided people, who knows.
They may decide in favor of adult-use marijuana next year and ultimately win the war for the side of good for good.