Luxemburg is on course to becoming the first European country to legalize cannabis. The EU member-countries are known for their strict drug policies. For many years, the cannabis industry has watched with interest as the cannabis laws in Luxembourg changed consistently. Luxemburg has already allowed the licensed use of cannabis for medical purposes. The resident can also use cannabis in small quantities for recreational purposes. However, the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis are still largely prohibited. In 2019, Luxemburg’s Health Minister, Etienne Schneider, provided a hint on a future cannabis decriminalization plan by calling on other EU member-countries to relax existing cannabis laws. 

Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health has submitted a legalization plan proposing to legalize the entire cannabis market and create a legal structure for issuing licenses to prospective producers and consumers. Under the proposed decriminalization plan, home production will be banned, and the only resident who is at least 18 years old can purchase cannabis. In addition to prohibiting public consumption of cannabis, the Ministry of Health is also proposing that licensed uses can only purchase 30 grams of the natural product per month. The proposed plan is expected to make cannabis available for residents within the next two years.  



There have been many documentaries focused on the illicit drug market in Mexico. Contrary to popular perceptions, cannabis is not expressly legal in Mexico. Many legislators in Mexico have proposed the decriminalization of cannabis as a method to counter the illegal operations of the drug cartels in the country. Different independent surveys on cannabis use have listed Mexico as one of the countries with the highest consumption rate for cannabis and cannabis-derived products. On March 4, 2020, three senate commissions passed long-awaited legislation to legalize all forms of cannabis in the Latin American country. The legislation is expected to be reviewed by the full Senate and possibly the lower chamber.

In compliance with a Supreme court directive, lawmakers in Mexico are racing against a reviewed date—December 15—to complete the necessary procedures required for the legalization of cannabis. The provisions of the legalization bill propose the legalization of cannabis possession up to 28 grams. In addition to authorizing home production under strict measures, this bill is also seeking the restriction of foreign cannabis investment while also regulating licensing for producers and consumers of the product. Although the cannabis legalization plan of Mexico is in full swing, there are concerns over the eventual approval of this bill due to recent political interference in legislative proceedings. 


Regulations guiding cannabis use are fluid and, in recent times, have changed repeatedly in different countries. As the global cannabis market expands, countries are expected to relax the strict anti-cannabis laws in a bid to reap economic benefits offered by the production and sale of cannabis. The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs has announced plans to reschedule cannabis before the end of 2020. If successfully considered, rescheduling cannabis can positively impact the global cannabis industry and push countries further toward decriminalizing cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Other countries close to legalizing marijuana include Portugal, France, and The Netherlands. 


New Zealand

In New Zealand, cannabis use, possession, and distribution are prohibited by the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1975. The law banning marijuana, or any other varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant in Mexico forbids this substance even in small quantities. As a drive to control the illicit trade in cannabis, the New Zealand Government announced plans to phase out the prohibition of marijuana. On April 30, 2020, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research published a report suggesting that the legal sale of cannabis in New Zealand can generate about $490 million in tax revenue yearly. Subsequently, the major political parties in the country agreed to a referendum to consider the possibility of legalizing marijuana. 

2020 saw voters take to the polls on the issue but unexpectedly, they rejected the motion to legalize. While this probably means that the country won’t see legalized marijuana any time soon, with the discussion now in the public realm and economic pressures to create a market, whether it stays that way is yet to be seen! 



Ian Parkes

Ian has been writing for a number of high growth industries for the past decade. Having plied his trade in the craft beer industry, Ian drew parallels between that and the world of CBD and soon became fascinated. Ian enjoys writing about innovation in the industry, particularly as it relates to the development of the leading brands.

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