The history of CBD and cannabis legalization is long and full of contradictions. Before it became legal in some American States, for example, it went through continuous restrictions, limitations, and referendums.
In Europe, the path has been anything but linear, especially in recent years. But, what are the actual differences between the USA and Europe in terms of legal marijuana and legalization? Let’s find out together in this new study.
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MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: THE REALITY OF LEGAL CANNABIS IN THE UNITED STATES
Legalization of marijuana and the USA… You know, America has always been the land of freedom.
In the field of legal cannabis, in the last decade, this freedom has translated into significant progress: less restrictive policies than the European ones and progress in the legislative field. To date, for example, there are already 10 US States that have made the use of marijuana legal for recreational purposes.
Some of these came to legislate through referendums, others directly through parliament. In order of legalization, the States in which it is allowed to consume marijuana freely are Colorado and Washington, where cannabis has been legal since 2012; Alaska, Oregon, and Washington DC, since 2014; California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada, 2016.
Vermont and Michigan joined the group in 2018. In addition, 33 States where cannabis is legal for medical purposes, 13 of which allow the use of marijuana with concentrations of THC greater than 1%.
THE BENEFITS OF LEGALIZING MARIJUANA IN THE US
The advantages of these marijuana legalization policies are obvious, primarily for the economic aspect. The US marijuana market is estimated to have grown to $ 52 billion in 2016 alone.
Legal sales of CBD represented only 13% of the market (about 6 billion), while the remaining 87% comprised the illegal market.
In 2019, however, estimates told us that the legal market has risen to $ 23 billion (also thanks to the addition of Vermont and Michigan) and that by 2022 it could reach 77 billion dollars.
This, as you can imagine, translates into an incredible contribution to the US economy and a significant step forward in the fight against illegal trade. On the employment side, the legal marijuana trade has also brought benefits, including a 76% increase in jobs.
Furthermore, from 2012 to date, no disadvantages have been found in the legalization of marijuana. The average consumption of the population of the 10 states concerned does not seem to have increased and even the use by minors has not registered worrying increases.
CBD AND CANNABIS SHOPS IN THE US
One of the most exciting news related to the legalization of marijuana in the USA is undoubtedly the birth of Cannabis coffee. This new market sector is having unparalleled success.
In these places, it is possible to live an authentic experience of tasting and experimentation. Each course is designed for amazing the curious and connoisseurs, from pre-rolls to inflorescences, passing through small appetizers and drinks. Even in the restaurant business, activities related to the sale of legal marijuana begin to flourish, meeting points between traditional cuisine and hemp-based products.
EUROPEAN MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: STILL A LONG WAY TO GO
But what is the situation of the legalization of marijuana in Europe? Well, in our beautiful Country, the problem is much less rosy, even if, in recent months, we have seen the first timid signs of opening.
To date, marijuana is only permitted for therapeutic purposes and only under specific (and rare) medical prescriptions. Possession is considered an administrative offense and not a criminal offense as long as it can be demonstrated that there is no end to dealing (small quantities, no sling bars or measuring instruments and no significant amounts of cash). At the same time, the sale constitutes a criminal offense, with variable penalties based on the amount.
Finally, until December 2019, the cultivation of marijuana was considered illegal in any quantity, whether it was an industrial plantation or small household pots.
THE PARADOX OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
This, of course, resulted in remarkable paradoxes. For example, buying cannabis from a dealer was not a criminal offense but only an administrative offense; growing a small amount at home for personal use was punishable by criminal law and remained on the record. Fortunately, the cassation also realized this paradox.
December 2019 ruled that the rudimentary and domestic cultivation of cannabis in small quantities for evident personal use does not constitute a criminal offense. This is not yet legislation on self-production (also because the cassation has no legislative power) and it isn’t easy to establish in which situations personal use applies. However, it is still a first, timid step towards the legalization of marijuana.
We still await a further step from European legislation, which translates into the legalization of marijuana and a green light for legal and safe self-production. However, the advantages deriving from legalization would be comparable to those already seen in America: decrease in drug dealing, contributions to the state economy and increases in jobs, without any obvious side effects.
However, legalization and marijuana in Europe are not always at odds. For example, if cannabis is currently considered illegal, the same cannot be said for light cannabis.
Currently, the trade of light hemp is allowed as long as the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.6%. Self-production is also allowed, but purchasing seeds from the European catalog of certified plants.
Stores such as Justbob.net and other authorized resellers can market inflorescences and derivative products that meet these specifications. In any case, our advice is always to pay close attention to the choice of sellers and to rely only on certified companies.