The Global Cannabis Industry in 2022 Year in Review

Australia - The public health research organization Penington Institute has found that Australian taxpayers could save about $850 million each year by legalizing cannabis. Criminalizing cannabis use cannabis costs taxpayers $1.7 billion a year in law enforcement costs.

United States of America - In October, President Joe Biden’s proclamation included a request for the secretary of health and human services as well as the attorney general “to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”

States that have legalized cannabis have done so in direct conflict with the federal laws. This has created tension between the rights of states to create laws and the authourity of the federal government.

While cannabis is still federally illegal in the USA, more states have legalized cannabis this year. Missouri, Maryland, and Rhode Island have legalized recreational cannabis, while Mississippi has legalized medical cannabis.

Germany - In October, the German government published key details of its plan to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis.

Germany’s blueprint of the law is being sent to the European Commission, which is the European Union’s (EU) executive branch, for approval to ensure it is compatible with global and EU drug laws.

Germany’s government has said that the legislative process, which includes the drafting of a law, will continue only if the plan is approved by the EU.

Czech Republic - In September, the government in Prague began drafting a law to legalize cannabis. In March 2023, the Czech Republic’s drug commissioner is scheduled to present a first draft of the bill.

The Czech Republic is said to be coordinating the drafting of the legalization law with Germany.

Thailand -  Cannabis, including all cultivation, possession, consumption, distribution and sales, was decriminalized on June 9, 2022.

Back in May, Thailand's health minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced in a Facebook post that the government will distribute one million free cannabis plants to households across the country. Sure enough, on June 9th, Thailand began giving away plants to people who wanted to grow them at home.

South Africa - Big changes to legislation in South Africa could be coming. A bill was tabled in March 2022 that would allow for the commercial sale of cannabis. Legalizing and regulating cannabis in South Africa could create as many as 130,000 jobs.