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How May People In the EU Support Marijuana Legalization? The Answer May Surprise You.

A closer look at the European cannabis market.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A new survey reveals that Europeans continue to embrace legalized marijuana. 

The survey was conducted by Hanway Associates, a London-based advisory firm that specializes in strategy, research, and mergers and acquisitions in the cannabis sector. The company recently unveiled a European Cannabis Tracker that surveys opinions on cannabis across Europe. Their most recent survey included the opinions of 9,043 adults.

What the new survey found

According to the survey, 55 percent of Europeans in eight major countries support a government-regulated system that allows the sale of cannabis to adults over the age of 18. Twenty percent oppose it, and 20 percent neither support nor oppose legalization.

Additionally, 48 percent want “regulated retail marijuana outlets,” and 35 percent support allowing people to grow cannabis at home. Another 32 percent support social clubs, something just now launching in the U.S.

The highest levels of support came from Italy (60 percent). But every country, with the exception of The Netherlands, had at least 50 percent support for legalization.

That’s not surprising given recent events. Luxembourg decriminalized marijuana possession in the fall of 2021. Germany is moving forward with a state-run system for selling legal cannabis that officials there hope to launch in 2023. Officials in France, which has one of the highest cannabis consumption rates in Europe, are increasingly speaking about the potential for legalization.

Much like in the United States, the European Union is moving forward with legalization one area at a time (in countries as opposed to states). But also like the U.S., this “region by region” approach is picking up speed.

RELATED: Is France Finally Ready to Legalize Cannabis?

European support for legal weed by country

The European Cannabis Tracker also reported support for legalization broken down by eight countries.

  • Italy: 60 percent
  • Portugal: 59 percent
  • Switzerland: 58 percent
  • Spain: 56 percent
  • United Kingdom: 55 percent
  • France: 52 percent
  • Germany: 50 percent
  • Netherlands: 47 percent

“Our polling reveals a continent poised for reform - with 55 percent of Europeans in favor of legal and regulated cannabis sales to over-18s,” Hanway Associates wrote. The survey also found 30 percent of Europeans said they would consider trying legal cannabis, making Europe “a potential consumer base of over 120 million adults across core European markets.”

They compared the current trajectory of the European cannabis market to the one in the United States in 2012. The difference is in size. The European market has about one and half times the population of the U.S., according to the report.

Hanway Associates wrote: “This once-hypothetical scenario is fast becoming a reality. European cannabis reform has become a question of how, not if.”

RELATED: Which European Country Will Legalize Weed Next?

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