26 Sep The Rise of the Medicinal Cannabis Market
The rise of the medicinal cannabis market is undeniable. Despite the UK’s previously puritanical views where cannabis is concerned, the medicinal cannabis industry has seen significant developments in recent months.
Carl Esprey, founder and CEO of Botanical Holdings, shares his views on the rise of the medicinal cannabis market and how the future looks for the industry.
The Rise of the Medicinal Cannabis Market
There was a long-awaited announcement made by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in September 2020 regarding cannabis-related businesses. The statement by the FCA was welcome for companies hoping to list in the UK. The agreement was beneficial for medicinal cannabis businesses but did not extend to recreational cannabis.
Global medicinal cannabis companies can be listed once they pass specific criteria set by the FCA and meet Home Office licencing standards. The FCA is now responding to the commercial reality of cannabis products which is positive news for the global medicinal cannabis industry.
A booming time for the UK cannabis industry
Thanks to the announcement by the FCA, the medicinal cannabis industry is finally getting the attention it well deserves. Before the option to list was agreed by the FAC, many UK companies like Sativa Group Plc had to lost via the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) exchange.
As a result of the coverage surrounding medicinal cannabis, many celebrities have invested in UK cannabis companies, including Snoop Dogg, Sir Patrick Stewart and David Beckham (OBE). The footballer has a 5% stake in Cellular Goods company which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in February 2021 and saw a trading frenzy that topped out at 28.50p, 470% above the initial public offering price.
The interest from brand name companies and celebrity endorsements is helping the medicinal cannabis sector be seen as a very serious opportunity; this will undoubtedly mean we will see many more IPO’s going into 2022.
It’s not all glitz and glamour.
The progress of the medicinal cannabis industry is fantastic, but regulations and access to the products needs a considerable amount of work if positive changes are going to be made. The pace at which the industry is growing is vastly quicker than that of the agencies that can affect real change and get medicinal cannabis into the hands of those who need it most.
While the availability of cannabis products in stores may benefit consumers, it is not the case for those who require medicinal cannabis to help treat medically diagnosed conditions.
Presently, medicinal cannabis products can only be prescribed by a consultant doctor on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC). The challenge for families to get a prescription leaves many in dire straights trying to access these medicines. Many hope that the next positive step for this market is that red tape will be cut to provide GP’s the power to prescribe medicinal cannabis.
Conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety could be treated with medicinal cannabis and prescribed by an NHS doctor. Promising new evidence suggests that prescribing cannabis medicine could see an end to the opioid crisis in the UK.
As more papers are being published and trials undertaken than ever before, there is hope on the horizon.
The medicinal cannabis market is one to watch
To have real balance and the brightest future it can, the government and regulatory bodies must increase their efforts and the speed at which they make changes matching the industry growth. This would ensure the people who need the natural medicine the most will get it sooner rather than who know when.
The media can also do their bit to highlight the plight of the people and those most in need of medicinal cannabis products. It is all well and good that the media garner attention for the industry as a whole, but the real stories to publish are families unable to see a specialist or access treatment.
The rise of the medicinal cannabis market is evident. This is an inspiring time for the industry, but those with the ability to invoke change and speed up the process to where people can more easily access the help they need must find ways to do so.
There is incredible potential for investors, businesses, governments and consumers where the medicinal cannabis sector is concerned. The real winners will eventually be the ones who this sector was set up to help, those who need the compounds found in cannabis to treat a specific condition and those who need an alternative to addictive opioids.
Carl Esprey is the founder and CEO of Botanical Holdings, an investment company for the legalised cannabis sector. His portfolio includes Portugal-based Eurocan, which aims to become a global leader in producing cannabis products for medicinal use.