Cannabis laws are evolving globally. Discover where and how countries are legalizing medical and recreational cannabis in 2023. This guide outlines the latest countries with legal weed access now as well as progress on additional policy reforms underway around the world. Learn which nations lead for medical marijuana, recreational legalization, cannabis market size, new patient adoption rates, and more through current statistics. See how cannabis legalization is expanding worldwide and list of weed is legal in which states?
The main focuses in that description are highlighting:
- The topic is current cannabis laws globally
- The content is up-to-date for 2024
- Both medical and recreational policies are covered
- Statistics and measurable facts are included
- There is geographic diversity among countries discussed
- User benefits focus on learning where cannabis is legal and practical impacts
Over the last decade, cannabis laws and regulations have evolved rapidly. Medical or recreational use of cannabis is legal or decriminalized in several countries and territories. Here is an overview of where cannabis is legal globally and what usages are permitted states where marijuana is legal.
Global Cannabis Market Size
Several countries have recently reformed their cannabis laws, which has led to rapid growth in the market. 2021 the global legal cannabis market was valued at $31.1 billion. Between 2028 and 2032, it is projected to grow to $102 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 17.8%.
Legal sales are currently dominated by North America, which makes up most of the market. With recent policy changes in Latin America and Asia-Pacific, medical cannabis dominates Europe’s legal cannabis market.
Based on 2020 estimates, the legal cannabis industry directly employs nearly 400,000 people worldwide. A broad range of positions are available, including those in cultivation, manufacturing, sales, and compliance.
It is estimated that by 2025, the number of jobs supported by legal cannabis will exceed 1.5 million worldwide. Sustained policy reforms and consumer adoption will continue fueling industry workforce expansion.
Overall, 27% of self-reported cannabis users reported using it for medical purposes, with similar rates across sexes and a higher prevalence among young adults. There was a higher prevalence of cannabis in U.S. legal–recreational states (34%) than in U.S. illegal states (23%), U.S. legal–medical states (25%), and Canada (25%). Primary conditions treated include chronic pain, PTSD, epilepsy, M.S., and side effects from chemotherapy.
Over 100,000 patients have been approved for medical marijuana in Germany and Israel, both of which have robust programs. There is a rapid increase in patient approval numbers in countries with newer medical policies.
Recreational Use Prevalence
The legalization of cannabis in Canada has led to nearly half of Canadians trying cannabis for the first time as a recreational product. Legal ones have replaced illicit channels for the majority of use and purchase there.
Initial consumer conversion has also been high in U.S. states like Colorado and Oregon, where recreational markets have launched. Further conversion and first-time trials are expected in new countries like Malta and Thailand next.
Exploring Cannabis Laws Around the Globe: Where is Cannabis Legal?
In the 21st century, cannabis policy has undergone a major shift. A number of countries have decriminalized or legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use despite it being historically prohibited across most of the world. For details on specific usage and a list of states with legal weed.
Recreational Weed States & Countries
- Legalized October 2018 for recreational use
- Adults 19 years and older can legally possess, purchase, cultivate and share up to 30 grams of dried cannabis
- Legal products are tightly regulated for quality and safety
- Pioneered full legalization in 2013
- Registration system for residents aged 18+; tourists cannot purchase cannabis legally
- Citizens can grow up to 6 plants at home & form cannabis clubs to produce cannabis
- Legalized consumption of cannabis in 2018
- No legal market exists yet for purchasing cannabis itself
- Administrative penalty for cannabis use instead of criminal charge
- Legalized recreational cannabis in early 2022
- Allows adult use and personal cultivation of small amounts
- No legal marketplace exists currently
- Expected to legalize production and consumption for residents aged 18+ in 2023
- Residents would be allowed to grow four plants at home
Above are a few countries which have states with legal weed. Now let’s move further to countries which have Medical Cannabis legal in their states.
Nations with Legal Medical Cannabis Programs
- Legalized medicinal use nationwide to increase patient access in 2016
- Cannabis available by prescription for approved conditions
- Authorized medical cannabis in 2014
- Production overseen by The Institute for Public Health
- Legalized medicinal cannabis and research in 2015
- Also permits export of cannabis extracts
- Medical marijuana legalized 2013
- Requires medical prescription issued by a specialist
- Medical cannabis made legal in March 2017
- Covered by health insurance if the patient has proven chronic need
- Pioneered medicinal cannabis research starting from the 1960s
- Well-developed patient programs and innovation ecosystem
- Legalized medical use June 2017
- Strong focus on domestic medical cannabis access and production
- Medical marijuana legislation took effect in November 2017
- Import-reliant program with strict doctor oversight
- Private adult use & cultivation legal
- More advanced public access for medical use
- Decriminalized medicinal use and extracts September 2022
- Recreational use is also now officially legal
What country consumes the most cannabis per capita?
In 2026, Canada is expected to consume over 60 grams of cannabis per capita after its broad legalization, making it the country with the highest cannabis consumption per capita globally.
Which European country was the first to legalize cannabis fully?
In 2021, Malta became the first European country to fully legalize cannabis for personal use, while other countries, such as the Netherlands, have decriminalized the drug.
How much was the cannabis black market worth five years ago compared to now?
Cannabis black markets have substantially declined due to policy changes. The global cannabis market was estimated to be worth more than $150 billion in 2017, over 90% of which was illicit. As legal markets develop, the illicit share continues to fall below 70%.
What three medical conditions does cannabis show significant treatment potential for?
Using medical cannabis could be beneficial for the treatment of more than 100 conditions. However, chronic pain, muscle spasms from M.S., and nausea or neuropathic pain caused by chemotherapy are the three that have the most substantial clinical evidence.
Which countries produce the most legal cannabis currently?
By 2025, the combined legal and illicit output is forecasted to grow to 34.4 million pounds, assuming no additional states join the list.