Founded in 1999, the Group of Twenty, or G20, is described as an international forum comprised of twenty members from various governments and central bank governors. The massively influential group comes together to discuss economies of industrialized and developing economies, and to discuss key issues that impact global economics.
This year, the G20 Summit made instant headlines, as protesters and a staggering militarized police clashed in the streets of Hamburg, Germany - where this year's summit is being hosted. Germany is the largest economic power in the Group of Twenty, and is already drowning in controversies internally as well as in response to visiting world leaders. In the days leading up to the Summit, over 20,000 police officers from various members of the EU descended upon Hamburg, and in a show of force and brutality begin using some questionable tactics against protestors who were still preparing and gathering ahead of the arrival of world leaders. Clashes broke out during the early parts of the Summit as well as the walls of police began a series of what is being “hostile” actions against protestors, in an attack that many are claiming was unprovoked.
Like many of the protesters that had gathered in Hamburg, people around the world do share a growing concern for the economy and the growing, massive wage gap between a shrinking middle class and the “1%” (the wealthy elite of various countries). As chants carried on outside from the crowds, inside in an incredible moment for the cannabis community, the discussion turned to the marijuana industry and it’s incredible growth over the past 5 years and since the 2008 G20 Summit.
Since 2016 when the Group last met during the Obama administration in China, the world leaders discussed various topics with emphasis on pollution (with heavy discussion surrounding China) and climate change. The group also discussed issues and conflicts related to massive tax evasion, combating populist attacks, fiscal stimulus and economic growth, and global efforts to support refugees fleeing terrorism. This years meeting carried similar tones and focus, but in a reflection of the growing global support of medical cannabis, fueled by new and growing amounts of research, the conversation turned to the cannabis industry.
The topic is hot in Hamburg, especially since Germany legalized medical cannabis earlier this year. The additional legalization steps taken by other major countries represent in the Summit including Canada, Mexico, and Australia also provided a major platform to bring weed to the G20 Summit talks. While the permits and related processes are unique and complicated in their ways in each country, the diversity of the methods and markets reflects the adaptability of the cannabis industry and its supporters. Reports are showing that this lead to talks about various industry leaders are not only prepared to enter to enter the global medical cannabis stage, but could lead to increased optimism in the industry's budding stock market. Projections for the cannabis industry in America have grown exponentially from 2016 and the growth continues as more states legalize and open markets in 2017. The possibility of entering the global market reinforces one important however….
The Cannabis Industry is back, and it’s here to stay.