The UK has awarded its second permit to cultivate “medical-grade” cannabis after more than 20 years since the first was issued to GW Pharmaceuticals in 1998. The new license was granted to Jersey-based Northern Leaf, according to a Yahoo report.
Northern Leaf plans on supplying THC-rich cannabis to Britain, Germany, Denmark, Spain, and Portugal. The company’s first shipment
Planning to supply THC cannabis to Britain, Germany, Denmark, Spain, and Portugal, the first shipment grown in their 75,000-square-ft. greenhouse — the license covers a total of 400,000-square-ft. — is expected to be a half-ton, according to Northern Leaf’s Chief Executive Campbell Dunlop.
“Demand is increasing globally and the market is currently undersupplied,” Dunlop said.
International cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group says the European cannabis market could reach as high as €330m ($403m, £297m) in 2020. They expect the UK cannabis industry to see a compound annual growth rate of 98 percent between 2020 and 2025. Germany has the largest medical cannabis market in Europe at the moment with 2020 sales reaching $267 million — by 2025, however, the German market is expected to sell $2.1 billion in cannabis annually.
Although the numbers may seem high, they pale in comparison to the United States market, where annual adult-use and medical cannabis sales are expected to reach $30 billion by 2025, according to the report.
The UK is only one of a handful of countries that allows the export of THC-rich cannabis and has a national medical cannabis system. In the UK, medical cannabis is legal with a prescription from a “specialized” doctor such as a neurologist or pediatrician. Adult-use cannabis, however, is categorized as a Class I substance under the “Misuse of Drugs Act 2001” in the UK. For small possession, police may issue a £90 fine or a warning, but distribution or cultivation carries up to a 14-year prison sentence and an unlimited fine.
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