Industry Insights &
Developments for

Cannabis in Europe

With largely progressive attitudes and increased movements towards legalization, opportunities are on the horizon for cannabis in Europe. Change is coming, and now is the time to get in on this budding industry. Here’s what you need to know about new and upcoming developments for cannabis in Europe.

Understanding the History
of Cannabis in Europe

The origin of advocacy for cannabis in Europe is usually attributed to Amsterdam. Much like the state of California, the country’s early approach to cannabis had a much heavier focus on recreational than medical use. 

Cannabis coffee shops started popping up in Amsterdam in the 1970s, and have historically been tolerated, though not technically legal. The number of these coffee shops has decreased over the past few decades, but Amsterdam currently has a strip with eight different coffee shops within 100 yards. 

Although developments for cannabis in Europe not as advanced as in the U.S., the industry is on its way to gaining greater acceptance and more widespread legalization.

Questions on cannabis in

Cannabis in Europe:
Country-By-Country Progress


While personal adult-use cannabis has been decriminalized in Spain, there are still restrictions on public consumption.

Medical cannabis is currently still illegal, but legislation has been proposed that would legalize the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.


Germany has recently announced plans to legalize cannabis for adult use, though details about specific regulations are still in flux.

Since there is also talk of Germany becoming the first European nation to legalize the sale of adult-use cannabis, the country has potential to become one of the bigger importers and distributors of cannabis in Europe.


In 2018, Portugal became one of the first EU nations to legalize medical cannabis in 2018. It looks to be on its way to legalizing adult-use cannabis as well, though exact legislation and regulations have yet to be defined.


Belgium’s cannabis laws haven’t changed much over the past 100 years, despite widespread calls for reform. Cannabis is still illegal, though offenses are typically given “low prosecution priority” under certain conditions.


Malta was actually the first country in the EU to legalize adult-use cannabis, which it did on December 14, 2021.

The legalization allows for home grows of up to four plants, but does not permit public consumption or carrying more than seven grams of cannabis. Still, it’s an historic move that may influence progress in other European countries.

Contact Us to discuss cannabis
Licenses in Europe

If you are looking to attain a license for hemp or cannabis in Europe Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting can help. Our team of cannabis licensing consultants and technical writers has had great success helping newcomers and experienced operators attain licenses all over the world.

Higher Yields Consulting Industry Insights & Developments for Cannabis in Europe

The Future of
Cannabis in Europe

While some stigma remains to be overcome, general attitudes toward cannabis in Europe tend to be more open and accepting than in the U.S. 

As countries across Europe continue to legalize cannabis for medical and/or adult use, they’re uniquely poised for international trade and transport. 

Another advantage of the continued legalization of cannabis in Europe is that it opens up an entirely new industry — and with it, the creation of new jobs and tax revenue. 

For more insights on future European cannabis developments, check out our recent blog on emerging trends for cannabis in Europe.

Last updated: July 2022

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