January 6, 2022

The Global Cannabis Legalisation Overview

2min read

We've taken a look back at some of the most significant legislative developments of 2021 and the current state of play for cannabis across different continents, as we look forward to further progressive changes to cannabis policy around the world this year. Use the interactive map below for insights by continent.

Last year will be remembered for many things: the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic; COP 26 and the escalating climate crisis; and the departure of Donald Trump and the arrival of Joe Biden in the White House.

But as 2021 played out its final few days a late breaking news story slipped its way onto the list of the year’s most memorable headlines in Europe.

Malta made history by becoming the first EU country to legalise the cultivation and personal use of cannabis – pipping Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg to the honour.

Malta’s move came after the UN in 2020 removed cannabis from its list of the ‘world’s most dangerous drugs’ and recognised its therapeutic uses, prompting a number of other nations across the globe to take a fresh look at their own marijuana laws.

Whilst Malta is to date one of only a handful of countries to have gone as far as establishing a legally regulated cannabis market, there is a sense that thanks to a softening of public opinion and political policy, change is very much in the air.

And with Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg expected to follow Malta’s example in 2022, and Italy pledging to hold a national referendum on cannabis reform, could the spotlight be turning away from the new world of North and South America and back onto the old?

As we look back at 2021 and forward into 2022 and the new hopes and promises that brings, we look at which countries –  from Canada to Croatia, Australia to Argentina and Malta to Morocco – are relaxing their legislation and leaning towards more progressive policy on cannabis.

At the time of writing, only Canada, Uruguay and 21 states in the US, including Washington D.C. and Guam, have legalised adult-use cannabis, but this is expected to increase at pace over the next five years, as the economic, health and justice benefits become clearer to regulators around the world.

We’ve put together the rules and regulations currently in place across the globe. You can explore each region using the interactive map below.

For more insight and a deep dive into the global cannabis industry, The Global Cannabis Report: Second Edition provides an overview of the development of international cannabis markets, and considers how they might develop in the near future. It also covers some of the most interesting and pertinent global trends in the industry.

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The Global Cannabis Legalisation Overview

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