June 12, 2024  ⦿  

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Report Reveals 22.2 Million Europeans Used Cannabis in 2022

A recent report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) sheds light on cannabis consumption trends in the European Union.

The study compiles data from numerous surveys, revealing that an estimated 22.2 million European adults, equivalent to 7.7% of the population, reported cannabis use in the previous year. This substantial figure highlights the prevalence of cannabis consumption across the EU.

Analyzing European Cannabis Trends

The EMCDDA report delves into data from national surveys conducted in the 27 EU countries, providing valuable insights into cannabis consumption patterns. While the surveys span the past few years, they offer a comprehensive overview of the European cannabis landscape.

The report’s estimation of 22.2 million potential cannabis consumers within the EU prompts consideration of the continent’s total addressable market. However, it’s crucial to note that addressable sales pertain exclusively to legal businesses operating in regulated conditions. Given the varying approaches to cannabis regulation across EU member states, only a fraction of these consumers currently have access to legal, regulated cannabis products.

European Cannabis Report
European Cannabis Report

Diverse European Cannabis Regulations

Cannabis regulations in European countries exhibit significant diversity. While some nations allow limited medical cannabis or cannabinoid use, the majority maintain stringent regulations that lead to a thriving underground market. However, select EU member states, such as Malta, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, have taken steps towards recreational cannabis regulation. Additionally, shops offering low-THC cannabis products are emerging in various EU countries, reflecting evolving attitudes toward cannabis.

Complex CBD Rulings

The European Court of Justice’s 2020 ruling on plant-derived CBD’s classification adds complexity to the regulatory landscape. As CBD lacks psychoactive properties, the implications remain uncertain. It could potentially open doors for CBD’s use in various commercial products, provided regulatory conditions are met.

Key Data Points

The EMCDDA report unveils several crucial data points, including the number of cannabis-related offenses reported by legal authorities in 2020, usage statistics among young Europeans, and fluctuations in cannabis traces found in wastewater samples across cities. Furthermore, the report provides insights into the pricing of illicit cannabis and the frequency of consumption among users, with 46% consuming on a daily basis. These findings offer a comprehensive overview of cannabis trends in Europe.

European EMCDDA Director
European EMCDDA Director

The EMCDDA report highlights the ongoing issue of cannabis-related offenses in Europe. In 2020, legal authorities reported approximately 735,000 cases of cannabis possession and supply offenses. This data underscores the complex legal landscape surrounding cannabis and the significant law enforcement efforts dedicated to tackling these offenses.

Youthful Cannabis Consumption

The report delves into the demographics of cannabis consumption, revealing that 9 million Europeans aged 15 to 24 used illicit cannabis within the past year, with 4.9 million engaging in cannabis use within the past month. These statistics shed light on the prevalence of cannabis use among younger populations in Europe, prompting discussions about youth cannabis education and harm reduction strategies.

Wastewater Analysis

Wastewater analysis has emerged as a valuable tool for tracking drug use trends. In 2021, the report notes that 13 out of 31 cities with comparable data reported an annual increase in cannabis traces detected in wastewater samples. This data provides insight into shifts in cannabis consumption patterns and allows authorities to tailor their responses accordingly.

The EMCDDA report serves as a comprehensive resource for understanding the multifaceted landscape of cannabis consumption in Europe. From regulatory variations to usage trends and law enforcement efforts, the report offers crucial insights that can inform policy decisions and industry developments in the evolving European cannabis market.


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