For New “Highs” in Pot Investing, Look to Europe
With a population of more than double that of the United States and Canada combined, Europe is set to become the world’s largest legal cannabis market. And yet, marijuana laws throughout the Continent are a crazy quilt of contradictions.
Dutch pot laws are indicative of the confusing state of marijuana legality in Europe. Consider this famous explanation by hitman Vincent Vega, in the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction:
“Yeah, it breaks down like this: it’s legal to buy it, it’s legal to own it and, if you’re the proprietor of a hash bar, it’s legal to sell it. It’s legal to carry it, which doesn’t really matter ’cause, get a load of this, if the cops stop you, it’s illegal for them to search you. Searching you is a right that the cops in Amsterdam don’t have.”
You might be surprised to learn that it is a criminal offense in the Netherlands to possess, produce or deal in drugs. This applies to soft drugs (e.g., marijuana and its condensed cousin hashish) as well as hard drugs (e.g., heroin).
However, in practice in the Netherlands, small quantities of soft drugs are tolerated for personal consumption. The specifics depend on each municipality, which is free to set its own levels of permissiveness. The capital city of Amsterdam is renowned for its “coffee bars” where customers, such as Mr. Vega, can legally purchase and consume soft drugs.
Confusing? You bet. But this year, the Netherlands and several other European countries seek to reform their marijuana laws, to make them looser and more streamlined. A financial windfall awaits investors.
Looking for under-appreciated investment opportunities in cannabis? Look to Europe, where the marijuana industry is on the verge of a breakout. There’s more to the “green rush” than legalization within U.S. states.
The mainstream media ignore this trend, but the Old World is providing new profit potential for pot investors. A shrewd strategy is to identify marijuana companies that are planning major investments, notably mergers and acquisitions, on the Continent.
Consider Germany, the biggest economy in Europe. The three coalition parties forming Germany’s new government all agree that one of their biggest legislative priorities will be to legalize adult-use cannabis.
When that inevitably happens in Germany, it’ll be a game-changer for all of Europe. Germany is the most affluent, populous and influential country in Europe. Other European countries this year are getting ready to follow Germany’s example, including Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, and Greece. But for marijuana investors looking to make money in Europe, Germany is the big prize.
According to a recent New Frontier Data report: “With an expected million-plus German patients gaining access to cannabis by 2024 and a medical cannabis market expected to be worth around €7.7 billion by 2028, one can see why Germany is considered a grail.
Across Europe, with a population of 748 million and an annual healthcare spend exceeding €2.1 trillion (EUR), the expectation is that the Continent will become the largest world market for medical cannabis.”
New Frontier projected that legal cannabis confers enormous jobs growth potential in the U.S. and key European countries (see chart).
Source: New Frontier Data
New Frontier recently released a separate study, Global Cannabis Report: Growth & Trends Through 2025. According to the report, the number of countries with some form of legalized cannabis has increased from 50 in 2019 to 70 today.
According to a report from the research group Prohibition Partners, the European cannabis market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 67.4% to reach 3.2 billion euros ($3.75 billion) by 2025.
Marijuana help wanted…
Legal marijuana is a jobs generating machine in both the recreational and medical sectors, further proof that the industry and its publicly traded companies have staying power.
Cannabis companies are drawing on the expertise of people in such sectors as biotech, agritech, information technology, marketing, quality control, laboratory research, and many more.
Rapid generation of new jobs in the marijuana sector, in the U.S., Europe and around the world, is creating a sub-industry: employee training for pot-related positions. We’re seeing a proliferation of university courses, government initiatives, vocational schools, and in-company programs designed to produce a new crop of marijuana entrepreneurs and scientists.
As the number of jobs in canna-business grows, politicians are more likely to push for legalization. Marijuana is becoming entrenched as an essential industry, with more and more families in America and overseas depending on cannabis for their household income.
These trends are resistant to short-term economic downturns. The mainstreaming of marijuana is making investors rich, in good times or bad.
Trying to find the right pot stocks to buy? Selectivity is key. That’s why I urge you to read my new book: The Wide World of Weed and Psychedelics. It’s your definitive guide for making money in the thriving cannabis and psychedelics industries. Click here to get your free copy.
John Persinos is the editorial director of Investing Daily.