UK Missing Out on £1.2 Billion Cannabis Market, Report Shows

UK cannabis report - GCI Content Hub - Global Cannabis Intelligence

New report shows how legalisation would support the UK economy, create jobs, promote innovation and improve patient access to medical cannabis.

The new report highlights how much legalisation could support the UK’s economy, from creating jobs to advancement of the medical cannabis industry.

Released by advocacy organisation Volteface, the report hones in on the economic benefits, innovations and investment opportunities that the UK is missing out on by failing to embrace medical cannabis and CBD.

The report’s title “New Leaf: Beyond Brexit, Countering Covid” highlights how the burgeoning CBD and cannabis industries could help with economic recovery during the ongoing pandemic.

Daniel Pryor, Head of Programming at the Adam Smith Institute, wrote in the foreword that the UK is poised for success if it welcomes medical cannabis.

“The European market for medical cannabis is the fastest growing in the world, and our unique position gives us the prospect of becoming a leading player in medical cannabis and CBD,” said Pryor.

The report estimates that the UK medical cannabis market could be valued at £1.2 billion. Further, the fully-fledged industry could create over 41,000  jobs, and approximately 17,000 ancillary jobs.

Legalisation would lead to more robust and comprehensive regulation of medical cannabis. As industry standards increase, so would research and development, leading to greater innovation and consistency across cannabis products.

The report lists seven recommendations for the UK to adopt, including:

  1. The establishment of a cannabis government agency to help drive the UK towards medical cannabis legalisation and regulation.
  2. Clarity from the Food Standards Association regarding the amount of THC permitted in CBD products.
  3. An investment in innovation for growth in the cannabis sector, alongside engagement with the National Farmers Union to “represent producer interest.”
  4. To allow hemp seed varieties over 0.2% THC and up to 1% to “improve the health of the plant and increase the yield of CBD per acre.”
  5. Amend legislation to allow for the efficient flow of products, which would simplify and improve patient access.
  6. Changing legislation that requires medical cannabis prescriptions to be made by doctors on the specialist register.
  7. Conduct a government-funded national trial on medical cannabis products to “fully unlock” the market.

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