GMP certified Spanish cannabis exports are starting for a few companies, causing frustration for the rest – but it is a sign of progress
There have been, as far as we know, at least three Spanish territory GMP or pre GMP cannabis licenses issued in June and July. All of these licenses are issued with the explicit requirement that the crop is for export.
So far, the main destination market? Germany.
For the lucky certificate holders, it is a time of celebration. For everyone else, it appears to be yet again another step by the Spanish government around the discussion of how much canna reform and how quickly?
Not to mention for whom.
GMP Certified Cannabis For Export Is A First Step
Here is the good news. There is not a single country that has had a less than drawing room existence with its semi legit canna market in Europe. Beyond Holland, see Denmark as a perfect example. Both countries moved towards greater reform, including of the recreational kind after exports of medical grade started in a formally regulated and metered way.
Is this in any way “fair?” No. It means that those who got to the market first have a huge advantage. And money to pay for the land, the contracts, and the licensing itself. But as is the case in Germany, that approach does not always translate into a sustainable industry. Indeed it is the very fact that the German cultivation bid was so wrought with problems that has created this monster which may in fact herald recreational reform in all of its medical market feeder countries, if not in Germany itself. That this may also further do so in a boomerang never anticipated by the Bundestag is another delicious irony now slowly simmering as Luxembourg’s “due date” rolls ever closer on the calendar.
Indeed the distinct legislative shade that still exists towards this industry is about to hit its Waterloo, just because it is so 20th Century.
Like a world without social media, the reality is that canna reform is the “new normal” no matter how slowly it still gets implemented.
More Cannabis Reform To Come?
There is in fact, zero chance that the powers that be are actually sitting this one out. However, as is becoming increasingly obvious across Europe, the “let them eat cake” approach to canna license issuance is not popular here. Further, as is also obvious, the German market has matured like gangbusters in just four years, despite all the legal drama. That is also not going to roll back.
In Spain, hard hit by Covid-related economic pressures, the export-only approach to the conversation won’t do much to alleviate the huge criticism that is already simmering of Spain’s current canna policy (which also includes official ignorance of the thriving club scene in Barcelona and other places, no matter how badly this has also been affected by the shutdown.)
Further this limited issuance won’t hold. It is politically unpalatable to accept that Spanish patients at least have precarious access to a wonder drug that Spanish companies export abroad. That is an ugly picture everywhere. But the economic implications of the same are equally compelling. Why should only a few companies have the right to cultivate a crop that is a natural way to reinvigorate communities if not fast forward an economic paradigm shift that includes hemp and excludes fossil fuels?
Not to mention one with such vast efficacy, from nutrition to medicine and fuel to construction.
This is supposed to be a healing plant. And yet in Europe, reform is being unrolled in a way that only underscores the increasing economic pain felt by increasing numbers of people as the old “normal” fades away into a digital future that, truth be told, looks pretty opaque to most. No matter what generation.
What Is The Role of The Nascent Industry?
While this is not in any way a comprehensive list of suggestions, here are a few ideas that can be easily implemented, particularly with digital cooperation.
- Make noise about reform. Tell your personal stories, even if you are anonymous, in Spanish and in English. Remember that in the UK, two children with epilepsy helped push the next stage of the conversation there, no matter how slow.
- Make lots of it. If you as an industry do not have enough to complain about, loudly, then find a few patients and document their stories. The plight of cannabis patients in Spain during the pandemic is an under reported story. Bring attention to it.
- Lobby, demonstrate in creative and nonthreatening ways (with hygienically correct distances between you and your fellow protesters), write, create compelling online social media (and of all kinds). Do guerrilla theatre. Write a treatise on the application of Liberation Theology to Cannabis Reform and then shorten it to the Tik Tok version. Connect with Europeans in other countries and organize mass tactics, even if online. For example, turning every cannabis website in Europe black on April 20, for example, in every country without full reform, is just one idea.
- Think outside of the box. How might you create a Spanish dialogue that is unavoidable about this drug in the halls of power and easy to understand for a public that is tired of ineffective responses and an overly slow movement forward on change? Including this one.
- Be creative. Be passionate. Be prepared to accept setbacks and loops. But never waiver. Demand that there be an official economic response, in Spain, and where you live, to a wilted world economy, that includes a regulated, safe, scientifically based cannabis industry.
- Never forget the adage: A small group of dedicated people are always the ones who change the world. Be part of the change, any way you can. Every bit helps.