By Roland Sebestyén
A campaign group focusing on the economic benefits, innovations and investment opportunities that medical cannabis and CBD could bring to the UK in 2021 has launched today.
New Leaf Opportunity is a coalition of stakeholders, spearheaded by advocacy group Volteface and features innovative medical cannabis company Kanabo, investment group Spinnaker Opportunities, legal firm Ince and cannabis consultancy group Hanway Associates.
The group is buoyed by recent announcements from the FCA regarding the listing of cannabis companies on the London Stock Exchange.
The news has been welcomed by investors, who have long sought to reap the benefits of the enormous emerging cannabis market.
Volteface Director Paul North said: “The cannabis industry is ready to attract some much-needed revenue into the country.
“The UK is crying out for emerging industries, jobs and foreign investment; we believe the cannabis industry can deliver all of these in 2021.
“Opening our doors for investment will improve the market for medical cannabis patients and the emerging wellness market.”
News of the LSE accepting cannabis companies could be very timely too for the Treasury as the UK faces a double whammy hit of Covid expenses and the potential fall-out from Brexit.
Hanway Associates Director Alastair Moore said: “As the UK looks for new opportunities in a post-Brexit world, it would benefit from embracing high growth sectors like cannabis.
“Consumer and patient demand are growing, and British businesses are already making a name for themselves globally, but access to capital is still restricted at home.
“What the sector needs is clear support from financial and government institutions. Through providing clarity on financial regulations, and the provision of innovation grants and loans, we could become a world-leading hub for the sector.”
The medical cannabis market was estimated to be worth $16.5bn (£12,3bn) in 2019, with strong growth forecast for the next five years.
As the UK edges towards the end of the EU transition period, those in the cannabis industry are keen to point out the new leaf opportunity.
Allowing medical cannabis companies to list on the LSE is a signal that the UK is ready to open its doors, and the group have highlighted key benefits beyond investment opportunity including job creation, medical innovations and improved access for patients.
The UK has long been a leader in academia and scientific research, and those working in cannabis R&D believe that money raised through the stock market will further innovations in the cannabinoid industry, improving the variety of products and patient access costs.