The UK medical marijuana market could be worth more than that $
Joseph Billions on Monday Dec 6, 2021
Provided everything stays on track, the United Kingdom is well on its way to creating about 40,000 jobs in its medical cannabis market. The industry as a whole will be worth at least £1.2 billion.
Volteface recently published a report on the broad medical cannabis legalization in the U.K. The report titled New Leaf: Beyond Brexit, Countering Covid touched on the development of the industry. It also gave a series of recommendations on how the government could improve the industry. Some of these suggestions include the appointment of proactive personnel or a government body to head the industry. According to the report, if the industry is speedily developed, it could be worth 1.2 billion pounds in a few years, providing about 17,000 ancillary jobs and 41,000 new jobs within and around the industry.
Medical cannabis was legalized in England on November 2018. The establishment of the industry kickstarted the prescription of medical cannabis to patients whose conditions are no longer being alleviated by conventional drugs. The National Health Service Department only authorized the prescription of cannabis-based medications to patients who have severe epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and aftereffects of chemotherapy procedures (e.g., nausea, fatigue, mood disorders, etc.)
As it stands, the number of legal medical cannabis users is hugely lower than what it should be. Due to the restricting regulations surrounding the industry, patients prefer to privately seek medical cannabis through illegal channels.
The report explained that the current absence of development in the broad medical cannabis industry could be attributed to the archaic approach used to regulate the industry. For example, before any regulation can be bypassed, it must first be processed through the home office. At this point in time, this is unnecessary and only slows down activities and operations.
The first step toward development is the application of a streamlined approach. Matters should be discussed and deliberated on by a particular governmental body committed to only the medical cannabis industry. The establishment of such a body will see that cannabinoid regulations, licensing, and disbursement of innovation funds are done speedily and at the right time. The report assured that this would further unite the various operators in the industry, causing development to be widespread.
Under the current management, the entire process is slowed down to customs and various legislative bodies involved. The patients who need the drugs are denied testament due to these complications. Not to mention that thousands of eligible medical marijuana patients in the U.K. have no access to the drugs due to its increased costs and limited supplies. The earlier the process is simplified, the sooner patient accessibility to the drugs can be improved.
Like the title of the report says, this situation is beyond Brexit. The medical cannabis industry can be very instrumental in countering the negatives of the pandemic.
The program is currently very limited and choked with strict regulations that prevent all medical practitioners from prescribing medical cannabis.
Improving the medical cannabis program means giving doctors free rein to recommend medical cannabis to ailing individuals. The regulation that requires only specialist physicians to recommend medical cannabis must be modified. Volteface suggests that all physicians must be made to complete a continuing professional development course to equip them with the knowledge and expertise needed to prescribe medical cannabis.
In addition to this, the U.K. government should begin looking for efficient ways to help private patients pay for the massive cost of the drugs. Insurance schemes can be beneficial in achieving reimbursement for these individuals—an excellent example of where this is practiced in Germany. Following the blueprint of Germany is another way to guarantee the growth of the sector. The report added that ensuring all doctors are licensed to prescribe medical cannabis would be a high win for the U.K…
In the report foreword, Daniel Pryor, head of programs for Adam Smith Institute, said that the most giant elephant in the sector is the low patient access to medical cannabis in the U.K. The National Health Service should do more to expand the reach of medical cannabis products. This is the fundamental way to ensure the industry’s full potential is attained.
The evidence base for registered products increased. To do this, a government-funded nation trial has to be employed. The government can collaborate with highly-regarded medical establishments in the country to do this. The success of this trial could mean that cannabis will be dispersed into the mainstream medical ecosystem in the United Kingdom.
To provide more clarity about the accepted percentage of THC, the report recommended that CBD-only products should be allowed to have as much as 1% THC composition. The report said this would foster more innovation options and open the sector for more investors. Currently, all cannabis-based medical products have less than 0.2% THC. To meet this requirement, hemp farmers have had to compromise the health of the plant, as well as the total yield, to ensure the plants have trace THC percentages.
Increasing this limit to 1% will give farmers more room to increase the yield of harvested hemp plant varieties per acre. The report emphasized that 1% or less than 1% THC is still undetectable in the body
The medical cannabis market will soar significantly if the government considers the recommendations penned down in the Volteface report. By 2024, the total number of patients registered under the legal cannabis program will surpass 200 thousand. The market has a lot of potentials to be the biggest or second-biggest in Europe, behind Germany. The current medical cannabis industry needs relevant regulations and a better management system.
To reach and surpass the £1.2 billion mark, the medical industry needs a more comprehensive and modified legislation that would benefit thousands, if not millions of people medically and financially.
What do you think about the economic projections about the UK, do you think the medical cannabis industry can be worth over a billion pounds? Will the political climate eventually support medical cannabis growth? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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