Lockdown Demand For CBD Rises But ‘Reform Needed’
Demand for CBD products is at an all-time high in the UK, but regulation reform is needed, according to a new report on the industry.
The ‘Green Shoots’ report, which was launched by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) and Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), showed this sector generating an estimated £690 million in sales in the year leading up to April 2021.
However, due to issues with regulation, the report also stated that much of the profits from CBD sales are sent overseas. This is due to a production issue where UK farmers are told to destroy valuable parts of the hemp crop which CBD is extracted from.
Paul Birch, who is the co-founder of CMC and ACI, discussed this issue and pointed out the potential for the UK to become an even bigger player in this lucrative market.
He 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.”
Steve Moore, the Co-Founder and Strategic Counsel to the CMC and ACI, echoed his point.
He added: “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. It’s hard to imagine there many more industries that could benefit almost immediately from the proposals set out in our report.”
The report laid out 20 suggestions which could help improve the overall sector. These include a dedicated agency, a centre of excellence for research and an urgent review of the government’s licencing policy.