The CBD market in the UK is worth significantly more than previously thought but needs more government help to thrive.
That’s the key message from of a new report by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry and Centre for Medicinal Cannabis released today.
According to the new research, the industry generated £690 million in sales in 2021, well above the £526 million forecast produced in 2019.
The report’s author’s say Britain is undergoing a ‘quiet cannabis revolution’ and the UK has developed the ‘most evolved regulatory framework in the world’ for CBD.
But the industry is being held back by outdated rules, the report says, especially around cultivation requirements which mean farmers have to destroy up to 80% of their crop.
Only certain parts of the plant can be legally processed, meaning producers are required under law to jettison valuable raw materials which would have significant commercial value if they could be used.
Steve Moore, co-founder and strategic counsel to the CMC and ACI, said: “With new government support the accidental consumer cannabis revolution that has allowed CBD to become available on every high street in the UK could become permanent, nurturing hundreds of new businesses, thousands of jobs and billions of pounds in exports.”
The ‘Green Shoots’ report makes a number of recommendations to government and warns that, without further regulatory change, the profits from the industry will continue to go overseas.
UK ministers must ‘adopt a proactive strategy to seize opportunities in the cannabinoids sector’, the report argues.
Paul Birch, co-founder of the CMC and ACI, said: “The size of this cannabinoid sector is now impossible to ignore.
“Today’s report reveals that sales of CBD products up to the year end of April 2021 are valued at £690m, almost a third higher than our last projection in 2019.
“Almost without notice and certainly by accident rather than design, the UK has improbably become the world’s second largest consumer cannabinoids market.”