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Report Calls for UK to Embrace Potential of Medical Cannabis Industry |

An advocacy organization known as Volteface recently released a report entitled “New Leaf: Beyond Brexit, Countering Covid” explores how the United Kingdom (UK) is missing out by not fully embracing the opportunities of the medical cannabis industry. 

Daniel Pryor (Head of Programming, Adam Smith Institute) wrote the introduction to the report. It stated that the UK could be highly successful if they embrace the plant. 

“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. 

“This paper provides a fascinating overview of the state of play in these markets, opportunities for growth and the regulatory questions that face the sector. It shows how the UK is in a prime position to become the centre of the European medical cannabis and CBD industry, as well as the significant economic benefits that would result.”

Volteface’s report estimates that the UK medical cannabis market could be worth up to £1.2 billion. It predicts that there could be up to 41.437 and 17,000 jobs in the full-fledged cannabis industry.

This report includes seven suggestions for the UK, which include:

  1. A “cannabis tsar” or governmental agency to help drive the UK toward medical cannabis legalization and regulation.
  2. Clearance from the Food Standards Association regarding CBD product legal limits.
  3. An investment in innovation for growth in the cannabis industry, as well as communication with the National Farmers Union “to represent producer interest.”
  4. Following up with a previous recommendation from Volteface, allowing hemp seeds/plants over 0.2 percent THC and up to one percent, which would “improve the health of the plant and increase the yield of CBD per acre.”
  5. Seeking legislative change to accelerate the flow of products. This will simplify the process and allow patients better access.
  6. Modifying legislation to require that medical cannabis prescriptions be given by specialists via specialist register.
  7. Conduct a government funded national trial on medical cannabis products to “fully unlock the UK market.”

This report can be broken down into four sections. First, “The Economic Opportunity,” recommending that the UK become an “investment hub” with some of the largest cannabis companies in the world, such as Aphria Inc, Aurora and Canopy Growth. It identifies 20 of the most important markets, both in Europe and America. “This UK market estimate demonstrates the immense economic opportunity the cannabis sector holds. 

By developing the UK into a European cannabis industry leader, this will hold a significant amount of capital, in the realms of £1.265 billion,” the report states. The report also looks at the employment data for many U.S. States and examines how marijuana contributes to local economies.

Second, “The Innovation Opportunity” opens up the conversation about the potential growth, using case studies conducted on Kanabo, an Israel-based R&D company that created what the report calls “groundbreaking,” and CiiTECH, a CBD company focused on cannabinoid research which seeks to “legitimize CBD as a health product.”

These case studies are combined to highlight the advantages of innovation. The report argues the only way for the cannabis industry to move past the decades-long prohibition into a prosperous new era is through innovation.

Third, “The UK CBD Advantage” addresses a “novel food,” which is a European law that defines a product that does not have history prior to May 1997 as a way to monitor newer developed “foods” for consumer safety. The report addresses compliance enforcement issues in cannabis.

Finally, “Increasing European Competition” covers the current industries in Denmark and France, ending with a call to action for the UK to remove its barriers to medical cannabis access and begin looking toward the future. 

“The UK industry is taking off with a quickly changing landscape. There is still much to do. It is essential that the UK establishes a framework for controlled access to medical marijuana if they want to remain a leading industry player. Access must be expanded to get medical cannabis properly off its feet and see long term development.”

Many more details are available to review in Volteface’s report, which is viewable here.