Cannabis has gone from a criminalized drug to a multibillion-dollar industry in just a few years. The global cannabis sector is growing rapidly and cannabis companies like World High Life PLC (NEX: LIFE) are riding the wave.

Legal cannabis is one of the world’s newest and most dynamic industries. As cannabis companies scale up, they’re seeing interest from institutional investors, major consumer corporations, and many  governments.

An advisory report from the Economic Analysis Council (EAC) called for the creation of a “public monopoly on the production and distribution of cannabis”.

A purely advisory report from the Conseil d’analyse économique (CAE), attached to the Prime Minister, calls on the government to legalize cannabis in France in a draft law. However, the government ruled out the possibility of legalizing recreational cannabis.

Legalizing cannabis in France

On Tuesday, several deputies from four political groups, including five “walkers”, advocated in favor of a bill for the controlled legalization of cannabis, both recreational and therapeutic.

The consultative report of the Economic Analysis Council, therefore, recommends legalization accompanied by a ban on sales to minors. “Cannabis is reportedly sold in specialized shops under the supervision of an independent administrative authority responsible for regulating the market and creating conditions for drying up the black market.”

The note recommends a final price of 9 euros for one gram of grass, compared to about 11 euros in the street. This could generate €2.8 billion in tax revenue per year.

Despite this the French government remains opposed to the legalization of recreational cannabis

“The government remains clearly opposed to the legalization of cannabis,” replied the cabinet of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.

“The government, even if it has closed the door, for the time being, should accept that there should be a debate, including a parliamentary debate on this subject so that both sides can form a final opinion,” suggested PS MPs’ spokesman Boris Vallaud.

Therapeutic cannabis on trial in 2020

By 2020, the Medicines Agency plans a two-year trial of therapeutic cannabis. A delivery that will be made, subject to validation by the Ministry of Health.

Already used in other countries, the cannabis plant will be reserved for certain patients for whom other drugs do not provide relief (severe epilepsy, neuropathic pain, palliative care, cancer, multiple sclerosis.

France, the largest cannabis users in the EU

Advocates of legalization have found an influential intermediary with the Economic Analysis Council (EAC). “Despite one of the most repressive policies in Europe, the French, and in particular minors, are among the biggest cannabis users in the European Union,” the two authors, researchers Emmanuelle Auriol and Pierre-Yves Geoffard, point out.

European businesses are already capitalizing on the more liberal market elsewhere in the EU and UK. The UK company World High Life (NEX: LIFE)has recently acquired Britain’s top hemp producer, Love Hemp, in a transaction involving all shares valued at 9 million GBP.

WHL plans to help Love Hemp expand into other European markets, starting with Germany in 2020. Love Hemp produces a variety of CBD products such as sprays, vapes, oils, edibles, CBD-infused beverages, and cosmetics, and sells its products in 1,200 UK high street stores. The European medical cannabis market is predicted to be one of the most valuable in the world and will be a key export destination for Latin American countries.

Companies like Love Hemp and WHL are perfectly placed to take advantage of a rapidly liberalizing approach to cannabis across the EU and the wider world.