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August 11, 2022

Key Takeaways from the Berlin ICBC 2022

On July 18th & 19th 2022, The Berlin International Cannabis Business Conference invited cannabis executives, entrepreneurs, and policymakers from over 80 nations to connect and discuss the future of cannabis. 

The ICBC is a world-class industry networking event, bringing together investment and capital opportunities from all around the globe. Germany itself is on pace to legalize adult cannabis use recreationally, marking perhaps the most significant development for the Cannabis industry in the last few years. Let’s not forget that Germany is one of the largest economies in the world and one of the only G7 countries to pursue legalization on a national level apart from Canada. When Germany legalizes cannabis - some expect it to come as early as 2023 - it will be home to one of the largest cannabis markets in the world.

It is for this exact reason that Cannabis Global Consultants attended the ICBC 2022. Below you’ll find our notes, takeaways, and a cannabis industry outlook based on our observations and conversations with industry-leading executives and policymakers from this year’s conference.

Attendance was high at ICBC 2022

Industry Momentum

Momentum and excitement are starting to build in the European cannabis market. Over the last 2 years, the COVID pandemic has caused a slowdown in overall business and cannabis market expansion, but today businesses are realigning to execute under our new conditions. One notable difference at the conference this year was an uptick in medicinal and recreational cannabis marketing compared to previous years. This positive interest from larger and more established industries signals a bright future for cannabis in the EU, as the larger entities can open the doors for smaller new entrants to make an impact. The current laws in Germany do not allow the sale of recreational adult cannabis use, however, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach earlier this year said that it would start the legal process for full legalization very soon. Finance Minister Christian Lindner confirmed that the country has started the process of legalization. Although it will still take time for bills to pass and laws to come into effect, Germany’s path seems clear and excitement in the market is well warranted, along with a helping of patience. If all goes as expected, we anticipate Germany fully entering the cannabis market in 2023.

CGC Senior Consultant Jordan Thomson attending ICBC 2022

Germany is Not Alone

While Germany’s legalization may represent the most pressing news, it is still worth mentioning the surrounding markets following in their footsteps. Most notably, in Portugal and Spain, cannabis has already been decriminalized for personal cultivation and use, and today both are on the path toward full legalization. Other countries that will benefit by feeding products into the EU are North Macedonia, which is successfully exporting medicinal flower already, and farther out, Uganda, and Jamaica. Cannabis Global Consultants has worked and continues to work with individuals in these countries, whether they be entrepreneurs, policymakers, or early movers, to further develop new channels for the global cannabis market. 

CGC Senior Consultant David Hyde (right) meeting fellow executives at ICBC 2022

Regulatory Supply Chains

On the other side of the coin, we’re seeing a tightening of the cannabis supply chain and an unfortunate amount of company failures over the past 20 months. It is critical that we keep a close eye on the regulatory supply chains, as mistakes made at this level can make or break a budget. Here at CGC, we are exposed to businesses both thriving and perished. While CGC is a safe harbour, the regulatory waters can get choppy. As evidence of this, we’ve noticed a narrower window for success when compared to previous years.

We’ve also noticed a tightening of capital markets. There is more money than ever out there, but the competition to attract equity capital has intensified. In order to attract that capital, one must become discerning in how you design your business plan and how you pick your partners. CGC is well aware and adjusting to place its partners in the best possible position to flourish.   

CGC Senior Consultant David Hyde

The Time is Now

With Germany’s legalization just on the horizon and regulatory framing happening now, the market, rules and regulations are just being established. Now is the time to begin planning for a successful groundbreak. We imagine the other EU nations interested in legalization will be looking at Germany’s example and will quickly follow.

The EU also has Canada and the US to look at for examples of how to execute their policy rollout. 

CGC has been through the emerging legalization market and is monitoring the aftermath of the pandemic. We’re continually developing the knowledge and team that can navigate you in the best way possible.


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