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Beyond the Green: putting hemp’s potential on the COP26 agenda

Beyond the Green festival is the first hemp-focused fringe festival that aims to put hemp on the COP26 agenda.



Beyond the Green: putting hemp’s potential on the COP26 agenda

With COP26 under one month away, Beyond the Green festival has announced the first-ever hemp-focused Cop Fringe Festival that aims to put the potential of hemp on the agenda, featuring the launch party for the Live Aid-inspired Earth Aid festival. 

Beyond the Green believes that hemp must be on the agenda at COP26, the United Nations‘ summit discussing how to tackle climate change, due to its potential to decarbonise multiple industries and combat climate change through carbon sequestration, as well as its many uses including hempcrete, hemp paper, and as an alternative to fossil fuel-derived plastics.

The festival, which is due to take place in nearby St Luke’s in Glasgow’s East End, will feature talks and discussions across the weekend by scientists and industry experts on hemp-based solutions for a greener, cleaner, healthier planet.

“The time is now for the UK government to legalise Hemp for all purposes and unlock the full potential of the most misunderstood plant in the world,” commented organiser of Beyond the Green, Sam Cannon.

“A thriving hemp industry can tackle climate change, produce medicine to help with conditions such as epilepsy and anxiety, boost the economy, create jobs and support developing countries to reduce carbon emissions. What is not to love here?” 

Read more: What makes hemp such a sustainable crop?

Beyond the Green, which is sponsored by Mills Nutrients, will feature live music, art, guest speakers, and a hemp market, as well as a pop-up Medical Cannabis Clinic where patients can speak with experts to understand how to access medical cannabis legally in the UK.

From Friday to Sunday night the Mills Stage will host DJ’s, live artists and guest speakers while serving CBD infused drinks and cocktails, and will host morning wellness sessions with Get Ahead. 

Alongside the Mills Stage will be the H.E.M.P Market powered by AutoPot, featuring hemp and hydroponic businesses, wellness brands, and associations who can advise and educate on all things hemp and medical cannabis.

On Saturday the festival will also be hosting host the launch party of Earth Aid. From the producers of Live Aid, Earth Aid will broadcast headline talent, DJs and live panels and talks to support, promote and enable a more environmentally responsible way of life. The festival will be announcing big names in the near future.

Read more: How the carbon capture of hemp can help reduce emissions

“The time is now to make the change to allow our children, our grandchildren, and all the other children of the future, to have the world they want, and the world they deserve,” says Cannon.

Beyond the Green will take place from Friday, 5 November to Sunday, 7 November 2021 at St Luke’s, The Barras, East End, Glasgow. For registration and tickets, please visit

Markets and industry

Life sciences company to expand into medical cannabis market

Broughton will be focusing on accelerating products to market within strategic markets including the cannabinoids industry. 



Life sciences company to expand into medical cannabis market

Life sciences company, Broughton, will be rebranding and expanding its services into the cannabis market.

Broughton is building on years of experience in the pharmaceutical and next-generation nicotine products space to offer its services to the cannabinoids industry.

The company offers fully integrated scientific and regulatory consultancy, combined with in-house laboratory services, and will now focus on accelerating life-enhancing products to market within strategic markets including pharmaceuticals, nicotine and cannabinoids. 

CEO Dr Paul Moran, who founded Broughton Laboratories in 2006, commented: “The launch of the Broughton brand formalises our rapidly developing position as a full-service solutions provider to the life sciences sector. We will continue our commitment to investing further into global operations delivering scientific and regulatory consultancy combined with comprehensive product development and laboratory services.

“This next phase of our expansion is a natural evolution to grow capacity and capabilities into the broad life sciences sector as technologies improve to target unmet market needs.”

CSO, Chris Allen, commented: “One exciting aspect of this change is that it facilitates the expansion of our existing pharmaceutical quality and product stability services to support providers of pharmaceutical inhalation products.

With expertise in device optimisation, human factor studies, navigating complex regulatory pathways for combination products and a track record of quality compliance, our broad expert team can support device development from concept to commercialisation.’’

Moran added: “The expanding team at Broughton hold extensive knowledge of their specialist fields. This rebrand brings together this expertise with a fresh focus on the journey of our clients’ products to meet an unmet market need. This is an exciting time for the business that will enable us to continue to innovate as we contribute to global health and wellbeing.”

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Markets and industry

Cannabis investment company to see UK and Europe growth

US cannabis investment company Thought Leaders has acquired UK CBD brand mellow.



Cannabis investment company to see UK and Europe growth

US cannabis investment company Thought Leaders has acquired UK CBD brand mellow which will see the company accelerate its growth across the UK, Europe and Asia markets.

The $13.25m acquisition of mellow by Thought Leaders will also see the launch of the mellow brand into the US and will include, the end-to-end e-commerce services Grow by mellow, along with 50 per cent of the recently announced mellow Asia.

mellow co-founders, Neil Tunbridge and James Storie-Pugh will remain at mellow as company heads looking at new investment opportunities for the group.

Pugh, commented: “We are excited to make today’s announcement and proud of our new partnership with Thought Leaders in the US. 

“It’s such an exhilarating time for CBD and these developments put mellow in the pole position to steer success for our e-tail platform and our end-to-end e-Commerce services as well as mellow Asia. As a result, mellow as a company will be at the forefront of rapid market growth globally.”

Tunbridge added: “The cannabis industry is here to stay and more and more people are starting to embrace what is likely to be the single biggest driver of the health and wellness market over the next few years. 

“The World Health Organization has recognised that CBD may have the potential to help with health issues such as sleep, insomnia to anxiety and pain.

“A paper published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, outlined the key reasons why people are turning to CBD. Anxiety, sleep problems, stress, pain and health and wellbeing came out as the most common reasons. Even the sporting world can see the advantages of CBD. The world Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances in 2017, and the Tokyo Olympics allowed athletes to use CBD during the competition. Sports stars and athletes are often drawn to CBD for anxiety, pain relief and healing.”

CEO of Thought Leaders, Mark Singleton, said: “mellow is a key component of Thought Leaders global growth strategy. It’s well curated assortment of industry leading CBD brands and products, consumer focused education and industry leading technology are an exciting addition to our portfolio. 

“The anticipated launch of the mellow US marketplace will bring a world class CBD assortment to US consumers, providing variety and quality with accelerated revenues. James and Neil’s experience and leadership in CBD and direct-to-consumer strategies are a welcome and valuable addition to the growing Thought Leaders team.”

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Markets and industry

How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market

Canxchange looks at how COVID-19 has impacted the cannabis market.



How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world and all its markets. The cannabis market has also experienced rapid changes, some of which are going to last.

How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market – Live on the Canxchange website.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated some economic sectors. On the other hand, some industries have experienced growth. The cannabis industry is decidedly one of the latter.

There are now many well-documented changes within the cannabis market. However, it’s important to distinguish which changes are temporary and which are expected to be longer-lasting. So, let’s start with the most immediate effects. 

Immediate effects

From the moment lockdowns were announced in the US, the cannabis industry has taken off. Cannabis companies were declared essential services in most states. Sales increased, and alleged hoarding resulted in a huge increase in demand.

In 2020, when Massachusetts ordered that dispensaries closed, 1,300 medical marijuana patients were registered. There, and in other states like Colorado, attempts to close dispensaries resulted in erratic increases in sales. In fact, Denver’s mayor reversed a decision to close dispensaries over the health risks of the long lines that inevitably formed.

The immediate effects of COVID-19 on the cannabis market can be defined by the erratic behaviour the market experienced. This, of course, was due at least in part to the chaos of regulatory responses to the emerging pandemic. However, wherever threats to cannabis supply emerged, we witnessed fast spikes in demand, through the rapid increase in sales.

Cannabis ingestible: increased demand

In addition to changes in overall demand, the immediate effects of the pandemic saw changes in the cannabis products that people bought.

One of the more pronounced changes was an increase in cannabis ingestible. For the first while, vaped cannabis products, smoked flowers, and concentrates saw a demand reduction. In some locations, sales of non-ingestible cannabis products either flattened or fell. However, sales of ingestible products increased across the board.

This increase in demand for ingestible cannabis products is believed to be the result of fears over the clear respiratory effects of catching COVID-19. In addition, as family members and roommates were forced to shelter together, many avoided smoking or vaping.


Many consumers in the cannabis industry are health-conscious. The focus on maintaining good health and having a strong immune system is more pronounced amid the pandemic. This is driving all kinds of consumers to health products. CBD is the cannabis market product that is benefiting from this trend.

Overall, the health effects of most cannabis products aren’t yet fully understood. The recent legalisation of the market in the US and several other countries has opened them to far more research. But these developments are relatively recent.

Within the cannabis industry, CBD is uniquely suited to meeting consumer demands for health products. There are many promising studies on the potential health benefits of CBD consumption. It has been particularly well-studied for its part in reducing seizures, anxiety, and pain, and fighting some inflammatory conditions. Amid these discoveries, cannabis businesses have successfully marketed CBD separately, and as a health product.

The result of these developments is greatly increased online orders of CBD products. CBD has made its way into health food businesses and pharmacies across the US. This trend will likely continue.

Long-lasting effects

Of course, some of the above changes are temporary in nature. Life during the era of COVID-19 lockdowns naturally pushes people, including cannabis product customers, to changed behaviours and subsequent consumer choices.

Many of the effects of COVID-19 on the cannabis market were temporary and will perhaps revert over time. However, some trends have taken place and are likely to last.

Value-based consumer choices

Health considerations will naturally change as everyone emerges from the pandemic and its effects. However, the economic impact of the pandemic will be longer-lasting. Some businesses simply cannot make it through, and the broader economic impact is clear. This is primarily due to economic uncertainty and high unemployment.

During the pandemic, cannabis businesses providing the highest-priced products of all types experienced reduced sales and high inventory. Competition between top-priced brands rose to a level some experts viewed as unsustainable. Consumers, meanwhile, have demonstrated higher regard for high-value purchases. 

As we move forward and economic uncertainty and unemployment remain concerns, demand for low- and mid-priced cannabis products can be expected to remain high. It’s possible that even in the face of a better-than-expected recovery, consumers will remain more price-conscious than in the past.

Online sales and delivery

The boom surrounding online shopping and delivery was set in motion well before the pandemic started. Now that it’s been shot into overdrive, demand for cannabis products bought online and delivered to your door has increased further. Where cannabis delivery is legal (under state regulatory conditions), this increased demand is likely to stick.

Some cannabis businesses won’t recover (or won’t come back)

Cannabis businesses, while legal on the state level, are still illegal on the federal level. This renders them ineligible for federal recovery loan programs, including being barred from the Paycheck Protection Program. Without this assistance, cannabis companies are far more reliant on consumers for their survival. Naturally, those businesses that are starved for cash are unlikely to weather the pandemic and its longer-lasting effects.

Some cannabis businesses will excel

The pandemic and its economic consequences can be described as a massive economic disturbance. And while every such disturbance will destroy some businesses, they also open up new opportunities in the market.

Cannabis businesses with the cash savings to make it through these challenges are in a better position going forward. Of course, reacting properly to the changes in consumer demands is also key. Many of those changes in consumer demands were temporary, but some will stick for a long time. Reacting well to the dynamism of the situation will help some segments of this industry excel.

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