Although both the sale and possession of recreational cannabis is currently illegal in the UK, predictions of the industry are vast.
In October 2018, then home secretary, Sajid Javid legalised medical cannabis when prescribed from a specialist doctor. In the year after the rescheduling of medical cannabis, 18 NHS and 104 private prescriptions were made in the UK.
The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) offers up one of the most optimistic predictions with an estimated value of the UK medical cannabis market to top the £1bn ($1.3bn) mark by 2024.
But one of the main questions raised is a simple one – why now?
Brexit means Brexit
With an outcome that will change the way Britain interacts with the rest of Europe, It’s terrible news for some and incredible news for others.
I am, of course, talking about Brexit and with the UK moving away from the regulatory framework of the EU – this leaves the door open for Britain to capitalise and move ahead of European countries in the Cannabis industry.
The main issue for EU countries is the attempt of the European Commission to classify CBD as a narcotic, an outcome that would cripple the CBD industry throughout most of Europe. With Brexit meaning that the UK is free to classify CBD as a novel food opposed to a narcotic, there’s the possibility of the island becoming an industry leader.
Opposition in the way
As with all things in this world, it’s not expected to be smooth sailing following the UK’s farewell to the EU and there’s plenty of opposition expected in the way.
There are primary concerns that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will prevent stock exchanges from listing cannabis companies. However, this is said to only apply to those firms deriving just some of their total revenue from products of recreational cannabis.
What do the experts say?
Anthony Barnett who runs the popular blog, Green Society,
“With Brexit finally happening in 2021, the British government will have the option to not comply with EU law and set our own agenda. I was quite impressed that the Food Standards Agency made the decision to classify CBD as a novel food, something that the EU has been hesitant to do”.
Barnett continued “The UK has a unique opportunity to be the industry leader in this space space”, with the expectation that the legalisation of cannabis may find itself within the UK inside the next five years.
A billion-pound industry
Providing that the UK falls in favour of the medical cannabis industry and following the dust settling from the inevitable boom that follows, the UK cannabis industry will be set to be worth around the billion-pound mark by 2024.
With the scope to become an industry leader and to catch rival countries napping, the UK could quickly become the epicentre of the CBD wave over the next 5 years.
With doctors set to educate and inform about the positives of medical cannabis and CBD in the UK and with Prohibition forecasting that the UK will legalise recreation cannabis by mid-2021, a shockwave of activity is expected.
However, only time will tell as to the accuracy of the predictions.