Countries all around the world are beginning to embrace the benefits of medical marijuana. On an international scale, medical cannabis is being legalized, researched, produced, and exported like never before.
How is the global acceptance of medical marijuana going to impact the cannabis community as a whole? The future looks bright for medical marijuana patients, healthcare researchers, and for the entire cannabis industry.
Medical Cannabis and the Global Economy
One of the biggest benefits a country stands to gain from medical marijuana legalization is a boost to their economy. More nations than ever before are choosing to legalize medical cannabis, and the profits are skyrocketing. At this rate of growth, the global marijuana industry is estimated to be worth as much as $146.4 billion by 2025.
A huge portion of the revenue generated by the cannabis industry comes from medical marijuana sales. This is particularly true on the international scene, where medical marijuana is more common than recreational weed.
For example, in several Asian countries there are strict anti-cannabis laws against recreational use, but a growing demand for medical marijuana. Experts predict that the market for medical cannabis in Asian countries could be worth $5.8 billion by 2024.
Nations like Israel and the UK have also made massive profits from medical marijuana. The market for cannabis in Israel is valued at approximately $250 million. Analysts estimate that their medical cannabis exports could be worth $60 billion by the year 2027. The UK is the world’s current largest exporter of medical cannabis.
Israel Leads in Medical Cannabis
Israel has become a global leader in medical marijuana thanks to their progressive pro-cannabis legislation. Their laws allow for medical marijuana research and encourage growth in their cannabis industry. The nation is leading the way in innovations, exports, and overall progress in this sector.
The Best Place on Earth for Cannabis Research
For decades, Israel has positioned itself as a safe haven for medical marijuana researchers and cannabis businesses. The country has been welcoming and encouraging of pot farmers, educators, and entrepreneurs.
In 2007, Israel became the first nation to permit medical research on marijuana. Then in 2017, they increased the number of doctors licensed to prescribe medical cannabis.
Saul Kaye, the chief executive of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis, says, “We are proud of our forward-thinking government and will continue to work together to build the industry and help patients world-wide access safe, quality medical cannabis.”
Medical Marijuana Investments & Academics
The Israelli government has invested $2.13 million into 13 research projects regarding the medical uses of cannabis. These studies focus on how cannabis can help treat or manage multiple sclerosis, bacteria growth, metabolic syndrome, and more.
Some of these projects may even prove useful in making organ transplantation more reliable and safe. These types of investments into cannabis researchers have made Israel a leader in cannabis-related pharmaceuticals and medical tech.
The study of medical marijuana is a popular field of research for students in Israel as well. The Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem offers cannabis classes geared towards medical students. These classes teach the health benefits and risks associated with marijuana use.
Cannabis researcher Professor Raphael Mechoulam claims, “Israel is one of the leading cannabinoid centers of research in the world. There are about two dozen groups working on it and people come from all around the world to see what we do.”
Asian Nations Embrace Medical Marijuana
Countries in Asia are rapidly beginning to soften their stances on cannabis use and legalization. It has become a sweeping trend amongst these nations to legalize medical marijuana to boost their economy.
As a result, the cannabis industry in Asia has skyrocketed, with estimates predicting it will be worth $5.8 billion by 2024. The rising trend of medical marijuana throughout Asia is leading to exciting research and promising innovations.
Asian nations that have embraced medical cannabis are beginning to make breakthroughs regarding seizure disorders, cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, PTSD, inflammation, chronic pain, appetite loss, and more.
Cannabis Throughout Asia
Countries all around the world are beginning to legalize medical cannabis, but this trend is particularly notable across Asia. In 2018, South Korea got the ball rolling and became the first East Asian nation to legalize medical cannabis. Ever since then, even Asian countries that are notorious for their strict anti-cannabis laws have started to come around.
Thailand is a nation that has legalized weed for medicinal purposes and has made strides with medical research programs. Similarly, Malaysia is also on the track to progress and pro-cannabis legislation. The country’s Health Minister, Dzulkefly Ahmad, has stated, “There should be decriminalization of drugs.”
Even The Philippines and Singapore, infamously anti-weed countries, have started to embrace this wonderful plant. In the case of Singapore, the nation has begun to seriously research the medical benefits of cannabis. As their studies progress, their economy and medical tech industry is expected to grow.
In The Philippines, a bill to legalize medical cannabis gained support from the Philippines Committee of Health and the Philippines Cancer Society, but was ultimately shot down by President Duterte.
The two largest potential markets for cannabis in Asia are China and Japan. Chinese investors with massive buying power are looking to get involved with the global medical cannabis industry.
Hanma Investment Group has become the first Chinese company to extract CBD, a cannabinoid which can be used for medicinal purposes. Japan has also made exciting progress with CBD. The nation has approved clinical trials to test the effectiveness of oral CBD to treat epilepsy.
Medical Marijuana Preferred Over Recreational Weed
Countries across Asia are rapidly legalizing medical cannabis, but advocacy for recreational weed is lacking. Why do Asian nations embrace medical marijuana while still shunning recreational users?
One driving factor behind this is the massive aging population in many Asian countries. The health care costs for this demographic is estimated to be over $2.7 trillion by 2020. Cannabis pharmaceuticals could be a cost-effective solution to this problem.
Industry experts claim that in “Western markets, recreational cannabis is expected to outperform medicinal cannabis in market forecasts, but in Asia, the opposite is likely to be true.”
If you enjoyed this article, check out our weed quotes for some thoughtful perspective on marijuana.
Cannabis Prohibition Stops Progress & Research
Countries that fail to legalize medical cannabis will fall behind on important progress. Medical marijuana research is instrumental in discovering new pharmaceuticals, applications, and benefits from cannabinoids.
Our current understanding of marijuana on a scientific level is lacking, and strict anti-weed laws are largely to blame. Cannabis prohibition has prevented scientists from conducting proper research for decades.
Legalization also leads to progress in terms of regulating weed for contaminants and proper dosage. If cannabis is illegal, there is no system in place to monitor the quality of the product.
Legalized marijuana is guaranteed to be safe and properly dosed with the right percentages of THC or CBD. There is virtually no chance that legal weed will be laced with other drugs, mislabeled, or full of dangerous additives.
At the end of the day, legalization helps consumers and medical patients stay safe. Until the entire world embraces medical cannabis, there will still be struggles and hardships. Fortunately, as nations across the globe turn to legalization, the future is starting to look bright.