What will the future of European cannabis policy look like? One of the long-term industry experts, Deepak Anand, Head of International Consulting at Gateway Proven Strategies (GPS), provides insights for krautinvest.de.
krautinvest.de: Germany is going to reclassify cannabis as non-narcotic. How will this affect the international trade?
Deepak Anand: The internal and potential re-classification by Germany of cannabis as a narcotic is excellent news from a prosecution and justice perspective. It is indeed how cannabis needs to be regulated at an international level. Unfortunately, it does very little from an international trade perspective. Cannabis still remains subject to narcotic control when it comes to UN treaties which dictate international trade of it as a commodity. This has already been seen in Canada. Pursuant to the enactment of the cannabis act, cannabis was removed as a narcotic in that country but import and exports still remain restricted except for medical and scientific purposes.
Disclaimer: krautinvest.de is media partner of this year’s ICBC Berlin, which will take place on June 29 and 30, 2023 in Berlin. Our readers receive a 25 percent discount on tickets via this link. Deepak will discuss how to navigate the regulatory landscape Thursday, 29th of June, 2pm CET.
krautinvest.de: Even though many business leaders are disappointed by the second conerstone paper. What kind of new business opportunities will evolve within the 2 pillars – first pillar clubs and home grown, second one pilot projects?
Deepak Anand: I think many more details are needed before one can definitively opine on it.
On the first pillar, it sounds excellent conceptually, however it means very little when it comes to investment as it is a not-for-profit model. It will also be interesting to see if and how Germany will enforce those growing at home with strict standards currently in place from a compliance and testing perspective.
With respect to the second pillar, I personally like the regional pilot project model as an extremely creative way to get around UN and EU issues. The devil however is going to be in the details (which for both pillars so far are very scant). The biggest detail I am keeping an eye out for on the second pillar is how many regions will participate in these pilot programs and what the total addressable market (TAM) will be in terms of size and thereby volume.
krautinvest.de: Do you see any issues in the current draft of the law that might challenge compliance with EU and international law?
Deepak Anand: Again, the devil will be in the detail. With existing drafts and versions released thus far – I see ways to creatively comply with EU and International laws but I also hope that is what the German government is going to capitalize on. The pilot project model in particular could use a very interesting definition and interpretation of UN treaties but the question yet remains on what those details will be.
krautinvest.de: Czech Republic seems to go „all in“ – bringing the legalization of cannabis to the European Court of Justice. What do you think of this approach?
Deepak Anand: I do not think they are „bringing“ it to the ECJ. I think what Jindrich Voboril mentioned is that it „may end up“ at the ECJ. This is due to the fact that the Czech government is now the only one in the EU envisaging a nationwide commercial market for the recreational use of cannabis. Based on this, it is likely that another member state will challenge the measure in the ECJ.
krautinvest.de: What role plays the European cannabis industry in a global context?
Deepak Anand: The European cannabis industry plays a critical and important role in the global context as it is the next major region after the Americas to be embarking on embracing and regulating cannabis. The eyes of the world and in particular the next major region (Asia) are on Europe and it is incumbent on them getting it right. In Canada, we have always said legalization is a process and not an event. Countries and Companies involved and entering cannabis have a duty to learn from the mistakes that have previously been made and to better the cannabis industry and regulations for themselves, their businesses as well as their countries and its citizens.
About Deepak Anand
Deepak Anand has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the global pharmaceutical and cannabis industries. He is a public speaker and is regularly engaged with Canadian and International media on all subjects related to the Cannabis industry. Depak holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Management from Vancouver Island University. He is a recognized thought leader, subject matter expert and social media influencer. He brings 15 years of leadership experience in the health, charitable/non-profit, and private sectors both in North America as well as Europe and Asia. Within the global cannabis sector, Deepak has worked with senior government officials, politicians, policy makers, health professional organizations, clinical practitioners, educators, investor, patients as well as producers. He has also served on the boards of various pharmaceutical associations across Canada, the United States and Europe. Currently, Deepak serves on a variety of boards within the international cannabis space which include not for profit, advocacy, and patient driven organizations.
Disclaimer: krautinvest.de is media partner of this year’s ICBC Berlin, which will take place on June 29 and 30, 2023 in Berlin. Our readers receive a 25 percent discount on tickets via this link. Deepak will discus how to navigate the regulatory landscape Thursday, 29th of June, 2pm CET.