April 01, 2022

The Cannabis Industry Around the World

Lance Lambert, VP of Marketing at GreenBroz, shares his international insight on an ever-expanding global cannabis industry in this podcast.

Lambert spent years cultivating brands and telling stories for publications and sites like The Cannabist, WeedMaps, GreenFlower Media, and others. In that role, Lambert has traveled the globe, learning and integrating with the cannabis industry outside of North America. While cannabis continues to fight for legalization in the United States, it's important to remember there's an entire world of progress happening outside our borders.

Growing up in California, Lance had a much different perspective of cannabis at a younger age than most. As a cancer survivor of 20 years, Lambert believes in the power of cannabis and how it relates to eastern medicine and holistic healing.

In the cannabis space, people tend to get focused on what's happening in their own backyard. Many may not even realize that medical cannabis is legal in 44 countries worldwide. So, combining his travels and his passions, outside of his role with GreenBroz, Lambert also writes a monthly column for MG Magazine discussing the cannabis industry from a global perspective.

The US Has a Long Way to Go

The United States is very much behind the curve in understanding the plant and the science behind it. Ancient medicines and ayurvedic treatments in other countries give those cultures an advantage in adopting plant-based medicines.

In the U.S., however, research has been limited due to Nixon era prohibition policies and marijuana’s position as a Schedule 1 Narcotic. But, internationally clinical cannabis research is alive and well and growing exponentially.

Lambert believes that as people begin to learn more about the Endocannabinoid System here in the United States and the laws continue to change, so will our perceptions of cannabis worldwide.

Reflecting on Experience

Drawing on his experience from traveling and exploring international cannabis, Lambert emphasizes that there are clearly countries much more open to the cannabis industry than the United States. In Prague, a Cannabis conference he attended even offered childcare, which would likely be discouraged in the United States. "This would not fly in the United States,” Lambert stated, reflecting on his major in criminal justice.

Outside of the United States, they haven't had the same experiences as our young nation has. Other countries were never exposed to the western movement started by Harry Anslinger or the stigmas associated with US prohibition.

On the other hand, Lambert recalls an experience in Nimbin, a small town minutes from the Gold Coast in Australia, at an event called Mardi Grass. Police used mandatory checkpoints after the event to swab the attendees' cheeks for THC.

Current Events in Global Cannabis

During the interview, Lambert spends a few minutes discussing news from various countries and speaks about where he believes we'll see the next big boom in cannabis.

Although Costa Rica just passed their medical bill a few weeks ago thanks to their president, Lambert believes the biggest noise for the industry's future is coming out of Europe.

Adult-use cannabis in Germany has been approved, and Malta also announced cannabis legalization on December 17, 2021. Lambert believes that France and Ireland might have been waiting for the US to move forward with a national medical program but after growing impatient, they have implemented beta medical programs.

Interestingly, Switzerland has seen a drop in nicotine cigarette consumption by 21% since legalizing CBD Hemp Cigarettes.

Are You Ready for the World?

When asked if American companies should be considering the global cannabis market despite the lack of federal legalization, Lambert replied, “Ancillary companies, by all means, should be looking at the global market."

Although he admits the plant-touching side is a little more complicated, Lambert did say that it can be done. “It's very similar to an MSO program, but there's obviously many more challenges,” he added.

Cannabis is a Universal Language

"Certain things transcend all cultures, all languages. Somethings you really don’t need words to have that level of commonality with other individuals,” Lambert elaborated. “Cannabis is one of those things, like music or food.”

But Lambert also warns us to do our homework and know the laws. In places like Singapore or Saudi Arabia, you can be arrested, prosecuted, and given capital punishment.

Watch the full video interview or listen to the podcast for this fascinating conversation with Lance Lambert!