The market – the future starts now

Cannabis is cultivated and exported worldwide. In Europe, cannabis is mainly cultivated in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, and cultivation often takes place in so-called indoor facilities. Due to special cultivation conditions, higher crop yields are achieved than in open field cultivation. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back a long way, especially in India and Middle Eastern countries.

However, in the 20th century, cannabis was gradually replaced by other medications. Eventually, the medicinal use of cannabis declined rapidly following the onset of worldwide prohibition. Since 2017, cannabis preparations have been marketable for the manufacture of medicinal products in Germany as well as several countries in Europe, and finished medicinal products containing cannabis are available on prescription.

Show more

Market development of medicinal cannabis in Europe by product

in millions of Euros

Market maturity and legalisation process in Europe

‘Medicinal cannabis
is the market of the future worth billions!’

Peter Thiel, billionaire and investor

The legalisation of cannabis in Switzerland has had majority support for some time. According to a poll in July, two thirds of the population voted for the liberalisation of cannabis – with strict controls.

In the middle of October, the responsible Committee of the Council of States, i.e. the body that represents the cantons in the Swiss parliament, gave the green light by a clear majority for the sister committee in the National Council to comprehensively reregulate cultivation, production, trade and consumption. Accordingly, the Narcotics Act will be amended in Switzerland to simplify the distribution of cannabis for medicinal purposes and to allow its export.

This has created the basis for a regulated – and legal – cannabis market in Switzerland with great growth potential. MediCrops focuses on the THC-based medicinal cannabis sector with various product formats, such as patented ready-to-use medicines, inhalants and extracts from our own production for the pharmaceutical industry, among others. We clearly distinguish ourselves from stimulants such as intoxicants and food supplements (CBD). Our target market is Europe with a focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland (German-speaking countries) and the development of an efficient distribution network throughout Europe.

Show more

The medicinal cannabis market is positively influenced by the following success factors:

  • Medicinal markets in the EU are growing rapidly – and price levels are significantly higher than in other markets.
  • The European medicinal cannabis market will be worth $1.4 billion by the end of 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.7% to reach $4.5 billion in 2026.
  • More and more countries are introducing legal frameworks to authorise medicinal cannabis and various product formats, such as flowers, extracts or dronabinol – in two-thirds of cases, the costs are covered by health insurance.
  • Cannabis is more reliable and has fewer side effects compared to other treatments, such as strong opiate medications. It is used to either increase efficacy or reduce side effects. As a result, it can increase appetite or reduce nausea in chemotherapy patients. Furthermore, patients can use it for pain relief to reduce or completely replace the dose or frequency of opioid painkillers.
  • The demographic development of the population plays a major role in the demand for medicinal cannabis because chronic illnesses and doctor’s visits are rising sharply among older patients.

Europe benefits from the increased liberalisation of legislation and an excellent health care system:

  • The legislation in Europe for medicinal cannabis applications is not uniformly regulated.
  • The most progressive regulations regarding efficient treatment with medicinal cannabis are in Germany and Italy, where delta-9-THC (the main active ingredient of cannabis) can again be prescribed as a medicine and obtained through pharmacies.
  • Germany has the largest cannabis market share, estimated to be 32.5% in 2026, followed by Italy (11.2%), France (10.1%), Spain (5.2%) and the Netherlands (3.5%).
  • The growth prospects for the German-speaking region are excellent due to the large number of inhabitants, the rapidly increasing number of patients and the very good health care system.
  • Israel is one of the pioneers in the legalisation of medicinal cannabis and as early as 2009 launched a state subsidy programme for the nationwide provision of painkillers from cannabis medicine.

Explosive market growth expected from mid-2022 following the revision of the Narcotics Act

From mid-2022, the entry into force of the revised Narcotics Act will make it much easier to trade cannabis with a THC content of more than one percent for medicinal purposes in Switzerland. This eliminates the need for an exceptional approval by the BAG (Federal Office of Public Health). The regulatory requirements for the production and marketing of MediCrops’ products will thus be considerably simplified and a regulated market for the cultivation, production and trade of cannabis containing THC will be created.

The situation can be compared to the full legalisation in Germany in 2017, where the market grew at an average of 42 per cent per year from 2018 to 2021 and virtually exploded to 536 per cent for extracts.

We expect the same in Switzerland, where the market is currently still very small at an estimated CHF 36 million, but it is expected to grow explosively by 35 per cent per year after legalisation from mid-2022. This is also a clear signal to insurance companies that cannabis is an attractive and cheaper alternative to conventional treatment methods. The potential is still huge because in Germany, only about 15 percent of 1.3 million patients are currently treated with cannabis.