Can London join Zurich and run legal cannabis pilot programmes soon?

28th September 2021

A new study argues whether London can join Zurich and run a cannabis production and retail pilot programme this year.

According to the London Cannabis Legalisation Commission, “London Cannabis Study” contains 20 recommendations to the Mayor of London and the London Assembly on how to create a model London cannabis regulation that would enable London councils to launch legal cannabis pilot programmes.

The report draws on international best practice to identify key steps for London to lead the country with retail cannabis pilot programmes and the start of a local craft cannabis production system, leapfrogging the UK’s outdated legal regime. Legal cannabis production and retail pilots would help to catch the city up with jurisdictions around the world who have legal markets.

Hamish Stewart, Chair of the London Cannabis Legalisation Commission, said: “Cannabis is a global industry, expected to be worth over £200 billion by 2030. Londoners need to be able to participate in this growth sector in a legal way, across production, retail, tourism, medical research and pharmaceutical product development.”

“Around 15,000 Londoners, mostly young black men, are arrested each year on cannabis possession and supply charges. That is an utter waste of police time and resources and blights the lives of our young people.

“It is time for London to catch up with other jurisdictions to legalise cannabis and celebrate young entrepreneurs, provide the training and support necessary to grow a truly world-class craft cannabis industry for London.”

“The UK is among the world’s largest growers of medical grade cannabis. Londoners should be able to participate fully in this burgeoning market. The London Cannabis Study provides 20 simple recommendations on how the Mayor could open up new opportunities for Londoners in a legal cannabis ecosystem.

“There is no time to waste and we hope to see local cannabis production and retail programmes launch this year, creating new jobs and business opportunities for Londoners. The illicit trade in cannabis fuels youth violence and a legal market would help to address this pressing challenge.”

The public study launch will include an international expert roundtable on September 30, highlighting lessons from cities including Oakland, CA, Vancouver, Canada, and Atlanta, GA,  and other jurisdictions including Jamaica and the US state of Colorado that have all proceeded with legal retail cannabis markets and local production.

If interested, you can join the event here.

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