Marijuana Business Magazine January 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2020 60 AUSTRALIA This nation’s medical cannabis sector saw consistent growth in 2019 as the regulatory regime continued to evolve. The country started 2019 with 670 patient approvals, a figure that had risen to 3,594 approvals by October. Expect the MMJ sector to grow significantly in 2020 as more domestically produced medical cannabis enters the market, driving down the price of prohibitively expensive products. Growth also will be fueled by state and federal governments continuing to cut red tape for patients and businesses. CANADA Legalization of recreational cannabis took a bite out of the growth of Canada’s medical marijuana market in 2019. The country had 369,614 active patients as of the end of September, making it easily the biggest centrally regulated market in the world. Canada’s recreational market so far has failed to come close to expectations due to inconsistent supply, insufficient stores and supply-chain markups. If Canada can’t open a significant number of recreational stores soon, the medical market is likely to pick up again as consumers return to the more reliable and established MMJ sector—and expect Canada to finish the year with more than 400,000 active patients. DENMARK The European nation’s medical cannabis pilot program experienced disappointing growth in 2019 because of supply short- ages and high prices, but that is likely to turn around in a big way in 2020. That’s because, as of the second quarter of 2019, all 1,045 patients relied com- pletely on expensive imported cannabis from Canada and the Netherlands. Domestic medical marijuana production is seeing delays, but it should start to trickle in to the domestic market in early 2020 and improve steadily throughout the year. That’s going to vastly improve supply and drive prices lower for patients. All excess medical cannabis, of which there should be plenty by the third quarter, is slated for the export market. INTERNATIONAL 20 FORESIGHT COUNTRIES TOWATCH IN 2020 Several nations’ medical cannabis markets are poised for growth by Matt Lamers International medical marijuana markets continue to develop at their own pace and within the social and economic boundaries of each country. Some markets, including Canada, took more than 10 years to report a substantial number of medical cannabis patients. Others, such as Germany, are developing much faster. Expect the medical marijuana markets in the following countries to continue to make strides with impressive growth in 2020.