The New Leaf Opportunities campaign has highlighted the economic benefits, innovations and investment opportunities that medical cannabis and CBD can bring to the UK. It has also focused on how celebrating this will lead to a more vibrant cannabis sector. This report has honed in on the opportunities that medical cannabis and CBD bring through an economic, innovation and regulatory lens.
Chapter one focuses on the economic opportunity, using existing evidence to paint a clear picture as to why the UK is an attractive jurisdiction for business. An analysis of the major cannabis companies was performed to showcase the global opportunity for medical cannabis. Using a number of countries and US states, a market estimate was calculated for the UK, which stands at £1.2 billion. Using job statistics from US states with only a medical cannabis industry (i.e. no adult-use market), an estimate for the UK was formed; over 41,000 jobs could be created in the UK medical cannabis sector with an additional approximate 17,000 ancillary jobs.
Chapter two examines the opportunities for innovation through a case study analysis of two cannabis companies: Kanabo and CiiTECH. As the barriers to prohibition break down, the industry requires evidence backed, indication-specific and consistent products. Research and development must sit at the core of the industry to legitimise products, ensuring consistency and reputability for cannabis to be used as a medicine.
Chapter three discusses the UK’s CBD advantage. The UK has a unique headstart compared to the rest of Europe, bringing a period of regulatory uncertainty to an end. Clear regulation encourages investment and innovation as a serious and reputable industry. A clear path to compliance is a necessary step for moving the industry forward and ensuring consumer safety.
Chapter four highlights the next steps for the industry. There is rising competition in the European medical cannabis sector in the form of pilot programmes and new emerging markets. As the continent prepares for a booming industry, it is essential to move quickly in order to capitalise on a valuable opportunity. More importantly, to continue growing the medical cannabis sector, patient access must be expanded as the industry cannot sustain itself without more patients