Legalization or Decriminalization? 🌿

Is Luxembourg legalizing cannabis, or are they decriminalizing cannabis...

In Today’s Issue:

  • → Cannabis In Luxembourg. 🌿

  • → Regulating Delta 8 THC. ❌

  • → Sales Are Soaring In Arizona. đź’¸

Cultivating Cannabis In Luxembourg

Luxembourg is allowing adults to cultivate their own cannabis plants…

As North America continues to embrace cannabis, Europe has some serious catching up to do.

The good news is that Luxembourg seems set to ease its current cannabis laws, with adults in the region permitted to grow up to 4 cannabis plants.

The very first…

A number of European nations such as the Netherlands & Spain have had very liberal laws for cannabis in recent years, however, neither nation has officially legalized cannabis at a federal level.

This new legislation would make Luxembourg the first country in Europe to legalize the production and consumption of cannabis.

The laws…

Under this new legislation, everyone 18 and over will be able to legally cultivate 4 cannabis plants per household for personal use.

Adults will be able to purchase cannabis seeds in stores & online, however, Luxembourg won’t be rolling out cannabis retail stores anytime soon.

Initially, the nation had planned to create a national cannabis supply chain with state-regulated distribution as is the case in Canada.

Having faced delays due to the pandemic they have instead taken this first step.

“We thought we had to act, we have an issue with drugs and cannabis is the drug that is most used and is a large part of the illegal market,” — Luxembourg's Justice minister Sam Tamson said.

The goal?

Luxembourg’s goal is simple — they want to end the era of criminalizing the consumption of cannabis.

“The idea is that a consumer is not in an illegal situation if he consumes cannabis and that we don’t support the whole illegal chain”

Unfortunately, it will remain illegal for adults to consume cannabis in public & it will remain illegal for adults to sell cannabis.

There also remain penalties in place for carrying cannabis in public, albeit the penalties have been significantly reduced with fines of less than $30 for carrying less than than 3 grams.

Government sources said the legislation was driven by a desire to liberalize consumption and cultivation “within one’s own four walls”.

Luxembourg’s parliament is expected to vote on the proposal in early 2022 which has strong support.

Our Take

Several publications have proclaimed Luxembourg may become the first European nation to legalize cannabis, however, I find these headlines quite misleading.

The proposed laws are much closer to decriminalization as opposed to legalization, however, it’s most certainly a step in the right direction.

Creating The Right Regulations For Delta 8 THC

More & more states are banning products containing this molecule…

Cannabis plants are capable of producing a long list of molecules, from cannabinoids to terpenes, flavonoids, and many more exciting molecules.

One such molecule both cannabis & hemp plants can produce is Delta 8 THC.

The legality of this molecule has been the cause of much confusion of late.

Confusion in cannabis…

In 2018 the FARM Bill received the required support needed such that hemp once again became legal in the U.S, and in the process so did and & all molecules hemp plants can produce with the expectation being Delta 9 THC.

Currently, products containing Delta 9 THC can only be purchased in 18 states for adult-use purposes & 36 states for medical purposes.

The inability to access products containing Delta 9 THC has resulted in consumers seeking out an alternative.

Along comes Delta 8 THC…

Delta 8 THC is a close cousin of Delta 9 THC, having identical molecular formulas, and consequently, producing similar effects.

Currently, hemp plants can produce very small quantities of Delta 8 THC, however, not nearly enough to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for products containing this molecule.

As such brands that are interested in adding this molecule to their products have been seeking alternative sources for Delta 8 THC.

Currently, the most common method to produce Delta 8 THC is to use chemicals to convert CBD to Delta 8 THC.

The lack of oversight for this process is a problem.

States take action…

In September, the DEA released a presentation titled “Delta 8 THC has serious health concerns”.

So far, the DEA is yet to outlaw Delta 8 THC.

This absence of action from the DEA is causing states to take ownership of this issue, with 19 states having already either banned or heavily restricted the sale of products containing delta 8 THC.

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington have all taken action.

Looking forward…

So far, the DEA has made an interim ruling whereby Delta 8 THC would be subject to the same regulations as Delta 9 THC.

Earlier this week, the DEA announced its plans to use Reddit and other “novel” data sources to gain a better understanding of public health issues surrounding the use of cannabinoids.

Although Delta 8 was not specially named, it’s very likely that Delta 8 remains on its radar given the concerns they have expressed to date.

Our Take

The surge we have seen in products containing Delta 8 THC highlights the demand for cannabis products in states where cannabis remains illegal.

The sooner we can start regulating these supply chains, the better.

Record Cannabis Sales In Arizona

Having commenced adult-use sales in January, cannabis sales are soaring...

In 1996, 65% of Arizona voters approved a measure to legalize cannabis for medical purposes, however, it took another 16 years before medical patients in the state obtained access to cannabis.

After a number of failed attempts, the state home to 7.27 million people took this one step further by legalizing cannabis for adult-use purposes in 2020.

Cannabis sales are soaring…

From January to September 2021, Arizona saw $1.6B in total cannabis sales, with the state set to collect more than $150 million USD in taxes.

Recently, sales have been soaring.

With adult-use cannabis sales having commenced in January 2021, this significant increase is attributed to the creation of this new market.

Adult-use vs Medical-use?

Medical cannabis sales in Arizona have been steadily increasing in recent times with sales totaling $46 million USD in January 2021 — increasing to $65 million USD in May 2021.

During this same period, medical cannabis sales as a percentage of total cannabis sales have been declining as adult-use sales have also taken off.

  • → In January, adult-use sales accounted for 21.1% of total sales.

  • → In February, adult-use sales accounted for 38.09% of total sales.

  • → In March, adult-use sales accounted for 41.64% of total sales.

  • → In April, adult-use sales accounted for 42.62% of total sales.

  • → In May, adult-use sales accounted for 43.96% of total sales.

What consumers want…

Like Canada, dried cannabis flower was & remains the most popular form factor of cannabis in Arizona.

This dominant position is declining with dried flower having once accounted for 52.6% of sales — now down to 44.9% of total sales.

Per headset, the following was the breakdown in September 2021.

  1. Dried flower: 44.9% of total sales.

  2. Vapes: 25.1% of total sales.

  3. Concentrates: 10% of total sales.

  4. Edibles: 9.2% of total sales.

  5. Pre-rolls: 9% of total sales.

‍As the demand for dried cannabis flower decreases, the demand for vapes and pre-poll products have been increasing in its place.

From January to September, vape pens market share has increased from 21% to 25%, while pre-rolls market share has increased from 5% to 9%.

Our Take

Having long sought to provide its citizens with access to cannabis, it’s been amazing to see Arizona experience such success with cannabis.

As we patiently await federal legalization, I have no doubt that this additional success story will fuel other states to take action on cannabis.

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