Research: U.K. Cannabis Industry Might Be Worth $2.8B Per Year If All These Issues Are Fixed – Benzinga


A new study paper is shining light onto the outdated laws and regulations now slowed the U.K.’s CBD and medicinal cannabis industries.

Composed by Maple Tree Consultants and Mackrell. The paper is supported by Nordic business heavyweights including Prohibition Partners and the Primary Care Cannabis Network. Its findings refer to different areas of the cannabis industry, including CBD, hemp and medical cannabis.

The paper calls on the authorities to examine its restrictive approach to this U.K. cannabis industry, which may be worth billions of pounds and make tens of thousands of tasks.

Not only would the emergence of a domestic cannabis industry help excite the U.K. market post-pandemic, it would likewise change accessibility for the estimated 1.4 million individuals now sourcing medical cannabis illegally, the paper argues.

In November 2018, the authorities announced that clinical cannabis could be prescribed to patients by specialized doctors, but thus far just three NHS prescriptions and 6,000 private prescriptions are issued. Despite being one of the biggest exporters of medical cannabis in the world, that the U.K. currently imports 100% of its own cannabis medicine and the vast majority of its CBD products. This is due to the contradictory laws of medical cannabis and the convoluted regulatory and licensing procedures needed for businesses trying to enter the area.

Professor Mike Barnes, co-founder of Maple Tree Consultancy, told Benzinga that, though the U.K. enjoys a reputation as a globally dominant medicinal cannabis manufacturer, almost all the medicinal cannabis goods prescribed in the U.K. have, thus far, been spared.

“The U.K. is a global leader with a worldwide reputation in pharmaceuticals, therefore there’s a strong argument that when we were able to both export and develop more cannabis-based drugs, we could continue to be a worldwide heavyweight and boost our market share even farther,” Barnes said.

“The current situation has resulted in distressed patients, who after being blessed enough to receive a medicinal cannabis prescription, face high costs and long intervals. This is in turn resulting in frustrated businesses, who are desperate to furnish these domestic patients.”

The newspaper’s recommendations to the authorities include the following:

  1. Reform the high-THC cultivation/controlled drug license program.
  2. Allow farming of hemp blossom in order to extract CBD beneath an Industrial Hemp license.
  3. Increase THC limitation from 0.2% to 1 percent to align with global competition.
  4. Be sure that the use of the Novel Foods Regulation to cannabis-related health supplements does not impinge upon younger market participants.
  5. Encourage wider, appropriate patient accessibility by enabling General Practitioners to prescribe medical cannabis.

A Look At The Market

 The newspaper’s findings about medicinal cannabis comprise the following:

  • Production of this U.K.’s medicinal cannabis products is confined to a major grower — British Sugar — and also one major manufacturer — GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH). In 2018, the U.K. was supplying 44.9% of medical cannabis, however this relates almost solely to two goods, Sativex and Epidiolex, which are not prescribed in the U.K. domestic personal marketplace but are prescribed in the NHS as authorized medications.
  • The majority of the U.K.’s medicinal cannabis patients require full-spectrum products which cannot be produced in the U.K. due to the problem of obtaining a cultivator’s high-THC growing license in the Home Office.
  • At October 2019, there have been only 19 extant licenses to cultivate high-THC cannabis in England, Wales and Scotland, and lots of them are possessed by GW Pharmaceuticals. This is a inadequate number, considering programs to the Home Office to grow cannabis for medical purposes are available for many decades.
  • The medical cannabis industry could be worth in excess of #2 billion if half of the 1.4 million individuals currently administering cannabis illegally for clinical reasons have been granted a prescription. 
  • Based on fiscal mapping of different areas which have legalized medical cannabis, the industry could produce more than 360m per annum in tax revenue.

Ricardo Geada, partner and head of their cannabis and regulatory staff at Mackrell.Solicitors, spoke with Benzinga. “The current regulatory arena for medicinal cannabis is fraught with problems. The market could be worth billions of pounds also has the capacity to revolutionize patient care and turbocharge that the UK market post-COVID. We hope the Government takes note of our report’s findings and opens discussion on the necessary detail which lies behind the Recommendations we have presented.”

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