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Looking back on the cannabis industry in 2021

2021 has been a good year for the cannabis industry, says the new Brightfield Group report.



Looking back on the cannabis industry in 2021

A new report from Brightfield Group has looked back on 2021, highlighting the broad progress that is being made in the cannabis industry.

Legalisation is looming and innovation is booming in the cannabis industry in 2021, highlights the new Brightfield Group report, ‘2021 Cannabis Industry Review’.

This year has seen rapid progress across the cannabis industry, with more US states legalising medical and adult-use, and the Canadian market seeing continued growth, says Brightfield, a CBD, cannabis and wellness research firm. 

News of reform across Europe was also welcomed this year, with Malta becoming the first European country to legalise adult use, and Switzerland and Luxembourg announcing coming legislation change.

The report states: “With other sizeable countries and economies like Mexico and Germany considering cannabis reform, the world of cannabis is widening. In the US alone, Brightfield forecasts $50bn in sales by 2026.”

US legalisation

In November 2021, US Congresswoman Nancy Mace introduced The States Reform Act bill which aims to decriminalise cannabis use at the federal level. The bill would remove cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 substances. 

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act was also introduced which encompasses social justice initiatives and imposes a federal cannabis tax, and the House of Representatives included provisions for the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The SAFE Act will enable banks in the country to lawfully deal with cannabis-related businesses.

Amazon also announced its support for cannabis reform in the US as part of its advocacy for equitable workplaces.

The report highlights that federal cannabis reform would provide the green light needed for a number of different companies including wellness and consumer packaged goods companies, as well as Canadian cannabis companies to enter the US market. 

It notes existing US players are preparing for these new entrants by expanding their reach and securing funding, and that companies that do not directly sell cannabis are also preparing for a post-legalisation industry.

“…the tide is shifting as consumer acceptance rises and the pandemic-induced financial deficits drag on, and Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike are being pushed to consider how they could and would reform state-level and national cannabis landscapes,” states the report.

Minor cannabinoids

Minor cannabinoids have seen a huge boom in 2021 – Brightfield highlights the rise of compounds such as delta-8-THC, THCv, delta-10 THC and options like CBN, CBG and CBC.

Increasing knowledge and accessibility will lead to tailored cannabis experience and innovative marketing opportunities, says the report, with options such as THCv being utilised for weight loss and CBN being utilised for sleep. 

It also highlights the level of experimentation happening within the market regarding different combinations of cannabinoids.

“…there seems to be a growing group of consumers looking to expand their cannabis experiences beyond delta-9,” says Brightfield. 

Looking to the future

The report highlights how 2021 was the year to “retire the stoner stereotype and move on to nuanced approaches to cannabis consumers.”

For 2022, Brighfield is forecasting a continued shift for cannabis markets alongside global policy and pandemic-related changes, stating that it will see broader legalisation and sophisticated competition.

The report states: “Cannabis operators should continue tending to the changes in existing consumer needs while also learning from established markets. 

“Assessing developed markets on an ongoing basis allows for a better understanding of how newer markets might evolve. Operators that incorporate the lessons of the past into the present will be prepared for future success in the dynamic cannabis landscape.”

To read the full report, please visit:

Markets and industry

Industrial hemp in Europe driving global market growth

A new report has projected the market to exceed $310m by 2027.



A new report has attributed the growing hemp market in Europe as a driving factor of global growth.
Home » News » Markets and industry » Looking back on the cannabis industry in 2021

A new report has attributed the growing hemp market in Europe as a driving factor of global growth.

A once under-utilised crop, hemp is now seeing strong growth thanks to the demand for alternative products. Food, drink and personal care products are driving the growth of the industrial hemp market.

A new report from Global Market Insights has highlighted government regulations and policies associated with the legalisation of cultivation, as well as escalating demand for hemp products as a main driver of the market.

 The market size was over USD$205m (~£151.09m) in 2020 and is projected in the report to reach $310m by the end of 2027.

Fibre and seeds

Hemp is utilised extensively in the pulp and paper industry as it is a considerably more sustainable crop than wood. This is due due to the fact its does not need bleaching produces more pulp per acre, offers enhanced paper strength, and utilises chemicals that are less toxic compared to wood paper. 

The report highlights that government regulations seeking to limit wood harvesting and the associated harmful consequences of wood pulp and paper production, are likely to foster product uptake. 

Read more: Italy plans hemp production increases: could the UK be next?

It speculates the segment will see robust growth to attain a valuation of more than $70.5m by 2027.

The hemp seeds segment is slated to surpass a valuation of around $74.5m by 2027 under food and beverages application, due to their wide use in supplements, such as protein powder and meal replacement bars and snacks. 


The report has attributed a proliferating industrial hemp market in Europe as well as mounting product application in automotive manufacturing as additional drivers of growth in the global market.

It notes that the Europe industrial hemp market is projected to progress at a CAGR of approximately 5.5 per cent over the forecast period to surpass a valuation of $80.5m.

Growing consumer awareness of the plant’s therapeutic effects has also boosted product demand in recent years, according to the report. 

To read the full report please visit:

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Markets and industry

Canxchange launches new trading system for the cannabis market

Canxchange is introducing more transparency, liquidity and efficiency to the growing cannabis market through its new platform.



Canxchange launches new trading system for the cannabis market

Canxchange, the leading physical hemp and CBD exchange, has launched a new electronic trading system for the cannabis market to simplify sourcing, buying and selling.

The new Canxchange trading system is the result of more than one year of product development and engineering work. 

The platform provides electronic trading, market surveillance tools, price discovery options, data and features to enhance daily business and transactions for Canxchange members.  

CEO and co-founder of Canxchange, Alex Arkentis, commented: “As we continue to improve and upgrade Canxchange, our main objective is to facilitate our members based on their feedback and market needs. 

Read more: Canxchange benchmark report reveals outlook of European hemp market

“We have spent the past two years listening closely to what our members are looking for and educating ourselves on what the industry lacks. 

“With the launch of our latest platform, now our  traders can focus on their strategic priorities, and rely on Canxchange to handle everything else.”

The platform has been designed based on market and member feedback, to simplify the process of sourcing, buying and selling. 

New platform features include: 

  • Simplified processes and more powerful user experience 
  • Production and distribution procurement contracts 
  • Market surveillance tools 
  • Data and pricing analysis 
  • Micropayments 

It will leverage the expertise and proven track record of Canxchange, a European leader in physical cannabis trading with a reputation for world-class technology, cutting-edge service solutions and trading reliability and efficiency. 

Read more: How the cannabis industry is overcoming a lack of trust

Canxchange has said that it plans to continue developing its operation and network of users globally, following the success seen by adopters of the platform across Europe.  The company aggregates farmers, producers and extractors and a wide range of industries under one roof; offering a wide network of vetted businesses to its members.

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Markets and industry

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies sees positive progression

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings has begun 2022 with a positive start and has announced a new date for the start of its Phase I trial.



Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies provides positive update

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings (OCTP) had a positive year in 2021 and has begun 2022 on the same foot. 

The company has reported financial results for the six-month period ending 30 November 2021 in line with expectation, during which approximately £920k of research and development costs were incurred. The costs were primarily on lead drug candidate OCT461201, which accounted for approximately £604k of the total.

OCTP and its subsidiary, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Ltd. (OCT) had total cash reserves of approximately £12m and no debt, having repaid a Government bounce-back loan of £50k in full. The group has noted that progress is being made on all four of its programmes.

CEO, John Lucas, commented: “We are pleased with the progress made on all four programmes during the Period. OCTP remains on time, on budget and in line with our expectations. 

“This was a busy period for the company following the successful listing in May. 

“During the first half, we made good strides across the board and, as such are excited by the potential as the year progresses and look forward to updating the market further in due course.”

2021 also saw the company enter into agreements with leading global cannabis company Canopy Growth Corporation, as well as with Aptuit (Verona) SRL, a subsidiary of Evotec SE (Evotec).

OCTP’s agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation gives the company an exclusive license to Canopy Growth’s cannabinoid library. This includes 335 derivatives and 14 patent families. Oxford Cannabinoids has now begun screening the drug-like compounds in multiple therapeutic areas, including pain, neurology, immune-inflammation and oncology. 

OCTP is working with Dalriada Drug Discovery to screen the compounds and Oxford Cannabinoid Technology’s (OCT) existing proprietary cannabinoid library. Dalriada previously designed, synthesised, and experimentally tested all of the compounds in the Canopy library and as such, OCT will be able to leverage Dalriada’s existing knowledge and experience as it continues its experimental research. 

The aim is to identify two drug candidates for pre-clinical development by the end of 2022.

A further agreement with Oxford Stemtech announced in November 2021, is supporting the research and development for all the company’s drug development programmes, with a particular focus on programmes three and four.  

Stemtech’s “pain-in-a-dish” model replicates human pain using stem cells from volunteers that are re-programmed into pain neurons. This agreement also marks an evolution of OCTP’s relationship with Oxford University Professor, Dr Zameel Cader.

OCT also entered into a £2.6m contract research agreement with Aptuit (Verona) SRL, a subsidiary of Evotec SE (Evotec) in July 2021. 

Read more: Further drug development agreement for Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies

The company has confirmed in its update that the planning phase has been completed and “wet-work”, manufacturing process development and crystallisation development have now been initiated. 

It has also confirmed that it is anticipated that Evotec will provide the OCT with a submission-ready regulatory document and an approved batch of drug product that is ready for Phase 1 clinical trials by Q1 2023. 

Originally set to commence in Q3 2022, the date for the trial has been moved to Q1 2023 due to technical issues requiring additional optimisation of the crystal development for scale-up manufacturing, which has been now successfully implemented.

The OCT board has stated this will not impact time to Phase II clinical trials, there is no material cash flow impact and the time to market is currently anticipated to remain the same.

The agreement with Voisin remains on track according to the update with a roadmap ti clinical development having been generated to support the ongoing pre-clinical package for programme one.

Voisin has also undertaken activities in preparation for the commencement of the Phase I clinical trials and is providing the  Group with regulatory support to address immediate priorities for filing and registration of Programme 2’s metered-dose inhaler in the UK and US market.

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