Industry consultants released polling data on Thursday, more than half of the European population supports adult usage of cannabis and around 30% are interested in purchasing it.
As seen in the United States, where cannabis use climbed amid pandemic-induced lockdowns, Europe’s permissive approach might reap various financial and economic benefits.
According to research by London-based consultant Hanway and pot producer Curaleaf International, while the majority of Europeans support regulated cannabis shops, most do not favor growing the plant at home.
The announcement came a week after the United States. The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that would lift the federal prohibition on cannabis, which has caused legal issues for consumers and businesses in states that have legalized it.
“We see the European market as three to four years behind (the U.S.), but it actually looks like Europe may initiate sweeping reform before the United States,” said Boris Jordan, an executive at U.S.-based Curaleaf.
Many European countries, like Germany, have legalized cannabis for medical use only, while others have decriminalized its use in general. Malta was the first European country to legalize cannabis for personal use and limited cultivation.
According to a report by research firm Prohibition Partners, the European cannabis market is likely to reach 3 billion euros ($3.27 billion) in yearly revenue by 2025, up from over 400 million euros last year. So far, Germany has been the continent’s largest market.
“There is clear political desire and willingness in Germany to legalize recreational use,” Joe Bayern, chief executive officer of Curaleaf, told Reuters.
“Given it (Germany) is the largest economy in Europe, we think it will lead the way and create a domino effect for the rest of the continent,” Bayern said.