In Poland, the cannabis market is still in its early stage. Medical cannabis was legalized in 2017 and industrial hemp cultivation was allowed in 2020. Still in Poland there are regulatory hurdles and social stigma surrounding cannabis. However, there are significant opportunities for cannabis growth in the market of Poland. According to Euromonitor International, the legal cannabis market in Poland should grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% between 2021 and 2025, reaching a value of PLN 1.6 billion (USD 400 million) by 2025.
Medical cannabis as key driver for growth in Poland
One of the key drivers of growth in the Polish cannabis market is the increasing demand for medical cannabis. According to the Polish National Health Fund, the number of patients authorized to use medical cannabis increased from 185 in 2018 to 2,453 in 2020. This represents a significant increase in demand and suggests that the market has significant room for growth. Nevertheless, in comparison to other countries, the number of registered patients is still relatively small. But the government has taken steps to expand access to medical cannabis. They did that by allowing doctors to prescribe it for a wider range of conditions. However, there are still significant barriers to access. They include high costs, limited availability of products, and a lack of education and awareness among healthcare professionals. In addition, there are concerns around the quality and availability of medical cannabis products. Some patients are reporting difficulty in obtaining the products they need. Thus, the government has taken steps to encourage domestic production of medical cannabis. The aim is reducing costs and increasing availability.
Industrial hemp – Polish market overview
Industrial hemp is another area of growth potential in the Polish cannabis market. It can be used for a wide range of applications, including textiles, construction materials, and food products. In 2020, Poland legalized the cultivation of hemp with a THC content of up to 0.3%. It opened up opportunities for farmers to grow this crop. Polish hemp fields decreased in size in 2022 to about 1,800 hectares (4,450 acres), down from 2,200 hectares in 2021. However, the article suggests that there is still strong potential for the industry to expand in the future, with increasing interest from investors and the establishment of a national hemp association to support research and development.
The majority of industrial hemp production in Poland focuses on the production of hemp fiber and hemp seeds. Hemp fiber is used in a variety of industrial applications, including textiles, paper, and construction materials. Hemp seeds are for food products, as well as in the production of hemp oil and hemp protein powder.
However, the market for industrial hemp is still relatively undeveloped in Poland. The challenges within industrial hemp include a lack of processing facilities and a need for better infrastructure to support transportation and storage of hemp crops. Another challenge within exporting is non-consistent EU regulation.However, the overall outlook for the industry is positive. Polish legislations become aligned with Europe.
There is increasing interest from investors and the potential for new export markets.
Risks for cannabis market growth in Poland
Despite the growth opportunities in the legal cannabis market, there are also significant risks and challenges associated with this industry. One of the biggest risks is the illegal market, which still dominates the cannabis industry in Poland. Illicit producers and dealers are able to offer lower prices and more variety than legal channels, which can make it difficult for legal businesses to compete. In addition, there are concerns around quality control and safety of products in the illegal market, which can pose a risk to consumers.
Another challenge for the legal cannabis industry in Poland is the regulatory environment, which is still evolving and can be complex and bureaucratic. This can make it difficult for businesses to navigate the regulations and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. In addition, the lack of clarity around the legality of certain products, such as CBD oil and other non-psychoactive cannabis products, can create confusion and uncertainty for businesses and consumers alike.
Finally, there are also social and cultural factors that make opportunities for the growth of legal cannabis market in Poland. While attitudes towards cannabis are shifting globally, there is still a significant amount of stigma and misinformation surrounding this plant in Poland. This can make it difficult for businesses to gain public support and can also limit demand for cannabis products.
What is the future of cannabis in Poland?
In conclusion, while there are significant opportunities for growth in the legal cannabis market in Poland, there are also significant risks and challenges. To succeed in this market, businesses will need to navigate complex regulations, compete with the illegal market, and educate the public about the benefits and safety of cannabis products. However, with the right approach and investment, the legal cannabis market in Poland has the potential to become a significant player in the European cannabis industry.