The UK’s cannabis industry could be worth more than £1bn by 2026, according to new analysis, as countries across Europe begin to cash in on the blossoming industry.
The research, by Prohibition Partners, comes as the country readies to host the Web Summit for cannabis next week, which will see industry leaders urge the government to welcome the market with open arms.
The UK has previously been accused of missing out on lucrative tax revenue from cannabis with “not fit for purpose” laws, by top think tank the Social Market Foundation, with the illicit cannabis market estimated to be worth £2bn a year.
Just last week, Thailand became the latest country to give cannabis the green light, having already made medicinal cannabis legal in 2019.
Thailand’s new rules will make it cheaper to supply businesses and consumers with cannabis-based products, which can be used to manage pain.
The plant is increasingly being recognised as an asset to the medicinal industry. Meanwhile, Prohibition Partners have forecast the UK’s medical cannabis market to be worth over £453m by 2026 – almost a quarter of the total European market by that time.
“The genie is out of the bottle with the cannabis industry – North America has embraced it, and Europe is starting to. The sector has shown it can deliver huge levels of investment, economic growth and jobs for economies that embrace it,” CEO and co-founder of Prohibition Partners, Stephen Murphy said.
“The UK now has to ensure it isn’t left behind as investors turn toward Europe as the next frontier of the cannabis industry. At a time when the UK sorely needs similar economic boosts, going green and backing cannabis will deliver for the UK economy.”