Iceland has taken a major step towards legalizing and regulating its adult use cannabis market.
A bill to establish, regulate and tax cannabis for residents over 20 years of age has been presented to parliament by Reform Party MP, Pawel Bartoszek.
This is a very promising step not only for this Nordic island nation but for the whole Europe and perhaps the rest of the world.
Switzerland is in the process of decriminalizing cannabis possession for personal use for under 10 grams while this Icelandic proposal goes even further by proposing a bill for a regulated and taxed adult use cannabis market.
The bill includes the following highlights:
– Regulated production, sales and consumption for everyone over 20 years of age
– Retail and consumption at dedicated speciality stores without alcohol sales
– Simple grey packaging for cannabis products and no form of advertising allowed
“I hope that the bill will be an icebreaker that spurs the debate and that it will ultimately lead to us ceasing the punishment of people for consuming this specific substance.” Mr Bartoszek was quoted by the Icelandic Review.
The bill is already supported by fellow Reform Party MP Sigrún Ingibjörg Gísladóttir as well as by Pirate Party MP’s Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson and Jón Þór Ólafsson.
Obviously, this is only the first step in the process and it will require support from a broader range of MP’s to succeed, however, this is a possibility that Iceland will have the first European adult use (often referred to as ‘recreational’ use) cannabis market.
This would not be a huge surprise as Iceland topped the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drug Crime) list as the world top cannabis using country and it is also a country well known for its sharp contrasts in nature as well as in their vibrant culture.
Being the pioneer in regulating adult use cannabis in Europe is a more important motion than most people would think, as Iceland would be benefiting from the first mover’s advantage, just like Colorado did in the US.
Colorado was the very first state to open its legal cannabis market in January 2014. Even though other states closely followed the same path, Washington state was only 6 months behind with opening its own adult use cannabis market, Colorado still gained the most economic advantage as the first mover.
Iceland might be well aware of the prize that awaits the first mover in Europe.