Emerging Opportunities for Cannabis in Denmark

The historical significance of cannabis in Denmark is reflected in the country’s modern cannabis laws. There is ample opportunity to invest in or enter the cannabis market as a business — if you know where to start.

To learn more about Denmark’s modern cannabis industry, continue reading this comprehensive guide and contact Higher Yields Consulting today.

Legalization of Cannabis in Denmark

Medicinal cannabis was legalized in Denmark in 2018 as part of a four-year medical cannabis pilot program, which granted 47 companies permits to grow and cultivate medicinal cannabis in Denmark. The program also permitted doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to their patients.

Additionally, the Danish government has approved a number of synthetics and cannabis extracts for medicinal use:

  • Sativex is an extract of the cannabis plant and one of the leading medications available.
  • Marinol and Nabilone are synthetically derived cannabinoids available for medicinal use. They became available for prescription in 2018 when the Danish Medicines Agency (DMA) put the medicinal cannabis program into effect.

It presently remains illegal to possess recreational cannabis in Denmark, but personal use is no longer listed as a crime in the country. The penalty for possession of small amounts of cannabis is typically a fine and not imprisonment.

In early 2022, members of the Danish parliament proposed a five-year recreational cannabis program that would reflect the country’s 2018 medicinal cannabis pilot program. The program would allow sales at state-controlled cannabis outlets and legalize buying, possessing, growing, and consuming recreational cannabis in Denmark.

Questions on Cannabis in Denmark?

young cannabis plant

THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN DENMARK

Denmark has a long history of cannabis use, dating back to the Bronze Age. Researchers in Denmark found evidence of cannabis seeds in the teeth of two buried individuals. The research suggests these burials are dated back to somewhere between 1600 to 1050 B.C.

There is evidence that even the Vikings took part in consuming cannabis: Throughout the Nordic countries, they often used hemp materials to construct ropes for their famous Viking ships. It is also believed that Vikings and Völvas (seeresses) used cannabis for ritualistic purposes.

The first cannabis license was issued in 1989 by the Danish Ministry of Health, which predates the earliest medicinal cannabis legalization in the state of California and puts Denmark closer in line with other neighboring countries like the Netherlands.

CANNABIS PRODUCTION IN DENMARK

When the Danish government established its medicinal cannabis pilot program in 2018, it granted 12 companies permits for growing and cultivating medicinal cannabis in Denmark.

To be granted a permit, interested companies first had to submit an application to get their cannabis products accepted to the DMA’s product list.

Those that were approved were then able to distribute their products to preapproved doctors and pharmacies across Denmark. In May 2021, the Danish government agreed to extend the medicinal cannabis program for another four years.

Contact Us to discuss cannabis Licenses in Denmark

If you are looking to attain a license for hemp or cannabis in Denmark 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.

STARTING A CANNABUSINESS IN DENMARK

To start a medicinal cannabis business in Denmark, including hemp processing facilities, you must be licensed by the DMA.

Keep in mind that there are strict requirements involved in the growing and cultivation of medicinal cannabis in Denmark. Please carefully read and understand the Danish laws on cultivation licensing.

Applicants interested in the following licenses should pay close attention to a few aspects:

  • Growers & manufacturers: All plants and materials used for extraction purposes must be free from pathogens. If a facility receives its electricity from outside the cannabis operation, written authorization from the owner of that electricity source must be submitted.
  • Testing laboratories: Any tests performed at other laboratories cannot be included in your license application unless you can demonstrate traceability between your laboratory and those labs through a chain of custody.

A description of how records will ensure traceability must also be included. For example, demonstration of compliance with standards during daily operations and quality assurance audits, physical inventories conducted on an annual basis, batch record review upon request or any other appropriate methods established under separate regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Health.

young cannabis plant

INVESTING IN CANNABIS IN DENMARK

Cannabis continues to rise in popularity throughout the world, and as more and more European countries begin cannabis programs, the potential for growth in a country like Denmark, that has an established program, is potentially unlimited.

Marijuana Business Daily has reported on the booming Danish cannabis industry and found that the country continues to expect a sizable amount of growth. You could buy an existing business or start from scratch, but no matter what type of investing you plan to do, be sure to know what’s legal.

Denmark has its own set of regulations for cannabis growers and distributors, which means it’s important to know if your investment will be up-to-date with local laws.
That said, there are still options for people who want to be involved with cannabis in Denmark. Don’t miss out!

IMPORTING & EXPORTING CANNABIS IN DENMARK

There appears to be broad political support for the production and exportation of medical cannabis in Denmark: In May 2021, the Danish government granted permanent authorization for the production and exportation of medical cannabis.

This permanent authorization was independent of the pilot program and establishes Denmark as a hub for supplying cannabis throughout the eurozone countries. Its intention was to use local expertise in greenhouse agriculture mass production to tap into resources of the established pharmaceutical industry in Europe.

In 2020, Canadian company Aurora Cannabis completed a 100% takeover of Nordic Cannabis A/S subsidiarybased in Odense, Denmark, in an effort to consolidate its European operations. Aurora has become the main supplier of cannabis flowers for the French medical cannabis pilot program and is predicted to become a main supply source for the European market.

Because Denmark’s medicinal cannabis market is relatively new, and because there appears to be such broad support for the medicinal cannabis industry (both socially and politically), there is ample room for the entrepreneurial cannabis exporter who is interested in setting up shop in Denmark.

THE FUTURE OF CANNABIS IN DENMARK

Denmark’s primary political parties are somewhat divided on the direction the country should take with respect to cannabis legalization.

The current government initially took a hardline stance against the sale and possession of cannabis and rejected proposals for a trial legalization program for recreational cannabis. But considering about 47% of the adult population has used cannabis before, that hardline stance appears to be softening.

Growing cannabis at home is still considered illegal, but people still do it. We do not recommend that anyone violate local laws to grow their own cannabis, but since possession of small amounts is largely decriminalized (meaning you will likely only be subject to a fine, not jail time, for small quantities), the social attitude towards cannabis in Denmark is liberal and accepting.

When the five-year recreational cannabis pilot program goes into effect, production of cannabis would be legalized and largely take place within Denmark. As a result, retail establishments would be staffed by people who are trained in and knowledgeable about cannabis, including its related risks and alternative treatment options. Additionally, proceeds from cannabis sales would be directed toward treatment of substance abuse issues, bringing Denmark in line with neighboring countries like Norway, Sweden, and Luxembourg.

Last updated: July 2022

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