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How Many People Consume Cannabis In Europe?

The European continent has long been home to a thriving cannabis community, and in recent years Europe has witnessed multiple nations modernize their cannabis policies to permit medical and/or recreational cannabis activity.

Germany is Europe’s largest medical cannabis market, in addition to being Europe’s largest overall economy, and lawmakers in Germany recently implemented the first provisions of the nation’s new adult-use CanG law.

Additionally, Malta and Luxembourg have adopted adult-use legalization measures, and regional adult-use cannabis commerce pilot trials are operating in several jurisdictions in the Netherlands and in Switzerland.

Voters in Slovenia recently approved a medical cannabis production measure and a separate adult-use measure, although the consultation referendum measures were non-binding and it’s up to Slovenian lawmakers to decide whether or not to adopt the approved measures.

According to a new report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction titled ‘European Drug Report 2024,’ cannabis “remains by far the most commonly consumed illicit drug in Europe.”

“National surveys of cannabis use would suggest that, overall, an estimated 8 % of European adults (22.8 million aged 15 to 64) have used cannabis in the last year.” the report states.

“Around 1.3 % of adults in the European Union (3.7 million people) are estimated to be daily or almost daily users of cannabis.” the report also states.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction report also determined that “of the 51 cities with comparable data, 20 reported an annual increase in the cannabis metabolite THC-COOH in wastewater samples, while 15 reported a decrease.”

The report also determined the following:

  • In 2022, EU member nations reported 243,000 seizures of cannabis concentrate amounting to 468 tonnes (816 tonnes in 2021), and 234,000 seizures of floral cannabis amounting to 265 tonnes (256 tonnes in 2021). The overall quantity of cannabis concentrate seized in the European Union decreased by 43% in 2022.
  • Approximately 609,000 cannabis use or possession offenses were reported in the European Union in 2022 (566,000 in 2021), in addition to roughly 98,000 supply offenses (100,000 in 2021).
  • In 2022, the average THC content of cannabis concentrates in the European Union was 24.8% and cannabis flower was 10.1 %.

Coupled with the report is an interactive map of Europe in which people can hover over countries to see what their corresponding cannabis usage rates are, with a sub-filter to organize results by monthly usage, usage within the last year, and usage at any point during a survey respondent’s lifetime.

According to a recent market analysis, the legal European medical cannabis market is projected to be worth over $9.7 billion by 2028, with the United Kingdom and Germany projected to gain a 77% market share by the end of the forecast period.