top of page

Potential economic spillovers from the medical cannabis industry in the UK


There are other UK-listed cannabis stocks to keep an eye on and the majority of them provide more direct exposure to the legal marijuana market.

Freyherr International went public in July and describes itself as a "profitable, vertically integrated medicinal cannabis company" based in Slovenia. Sativa Group is a seed-to-sale company focused on CBD products for the medicinal and wellness markets, and it aspires to be one of only a few companies permitted to grow cannabis with high levels of THC for medicinal research and development. Despite the fact that cannabis companies face numerous challenges, several cannabis-related businesses have listed in the UK. The majority of the 'cannabis companies' listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) are not pure plays, which means they have other businesses besides marijuana. MGC Pharma, London's first cannabis stock, more than tripled on its London Stock Exchange debut. The company raised £6.5 million on its initial public offering and then skyrocketed from an opening price of 1.475p per share to 4.25p, giving it a market cap of more than £75 million. Among the investors are some well-known city figures, such as small cap fund manager Gervais Williams and Premier Mitton. The rise in the London stock mirrors the rise in the US market, where Reddit investors, WallStreetBets, pushed up the price of a variety of marijuana stocks in response to the merger of Tilray and Aphria. The administration of Joe Biden, which raised the prospect of federal legalisation of the industry, also aided.


Non-psychoactive cannabis plant products have been shown to effectively replace synthetic or petroleum-based materials while remaining high performance and environmentally friendly.

Reducing barriers for small farmers while raising them for large corporations can help steer legal cannabis markets in a more sustainable and equitable direction based on community empowerment, social justice, fair(er) trade, and sustainable development principles for farmers, because diversity characterises the cannabis plant, its potential uses, and the populations who use it. Cannabis use for non-psychoactive purposes can have a positive economic impact because hundreds of potential products derived from the plant have been identified including clothing, cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, soaps, paper, food, feed, beer, biofuels, animal bedding, building materials, insulation, car mouldings, and many other consumer and industrial products. Small-scale cannabis farmers in countries with the highest demand, particularly in peri-urban and rural areas, should be viewed as a way to establish sustainable links between cities and suburban settlements, as well as to facilitate community empowerment through practical models of ethnos here preservation and sustainable agricultural practices, which could include the production of fibre, seed and their derivatives.

Agriculture can help to alleviate poverty. Shifting the balance of illicit profits in favour of the poorest members of the supply chain. A public policy reform that prioritises the inclusion of vulnerable populations already involved in illicit cannabis-related activities in a regulated market is one way to investigate directly impacting and improving the quality of life for those populations, while also providing them with fair economic and employment opportunities, contributing to the global poverty curve reaching a tipping point. Cannabis cultivation for non-psych activity-related purposes is already economically advantageous in the short term, allowing non-psych activity-related cannabis crops to be a tool for agricultural transition programs. A monitored transition to legal settings would allow illegal cannabis growers in peripheral and developing countries to diversify their production and locally supply cannabis seeds-based products, securing an essential food supply in impoverished areas.


Cannabis seeds are a functional, valuable, and healthy food resource, as centuries of history and modern research have demonstrated. Aside from traditional methods of consuming cannabis seed products, the high nutritional value of seed derived products should lead to seed derived products being regarded as important agents in the fight against malnutrition. Cannabis crops with no psychoactive properties are an excellent candidate for increasing agricultural value-added and productivity. For example, replacing cotton with non-psychoactive cannabis crops can increase productivity while drastically reducing irrigation water consumption. Cannabis-derived foods and products are high in protein, essential amino acids, glutamic acid, and the exact ratio of essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3 that the human body requires. They should be considered, for example, as a replacement for animal proteins. Cannabis policies should encourage the diversification of cannabis farm production, relying on non-psych activity-related purposes derived from the plant to propose products such as clothing, cosmetics, paper, food, beer, biofuels, animal bedding, building materials, insulation, car mouldings, and other consumer and industrial goods.

All cannabis crops (both small-scale and large-scale industrial operations) require a lot of labor. While large legal cannabis industries develop new technologies for plant cultivation, fertilisation, processing, and manufacturing, small-scale cultivators tend to focus on regenerative agricultural methodologies, which allow them to increase productivity and sustainability while reducing their environmental impact.


The impact on tax revenue has been better than expected. Marijuana sales in Colorado and Washington have resulted in buoyant tax revenues over the last several years. Colorado collected more than $302 million in medical and recreational marijuana taxes and fees in 2019. The state's sales totalled more than $1.7 billion. According to ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics, sales in the United States were $12.2 billion in 2019 and are expected to rise to $31.1 billion by 2024. According to a report by cannabis analytics firm New Frontier, federally legalised marijuana could generate an additional $105.6 billion in aggregate federal tax revenue by 2025.


Global and national policies and strategies must be coherent and consistent. Rather than maintaining drug policies in a parallel universe with a new post-2019 international plan of action on drugs, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs should develop drug-control strategies based on the SDGs.

Redirecting a portion of international and domestic government funding for drug control law enforcement toward health and development policies can make a significant contribution to achieving the 2030 Agenda Goals. Furthermore, sound cannabis policy reforms would result in the redistribution of profits and the mobilisation of criminal organisations' resources to public policy action for long-term development. Transitioning crops from illegal to legal settings, diversifying cannabis plant-derived products, reusing waste, and so on will generate additional financial resources, including increases in legal exports of cannabis-related products to LDCs. Policies must stop impeding human rights and overlapping the mandate of ensuring access to and availability of controlled plants, products, or substances for medical and research purposes in order to cohere.

Affected populations, peer groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), scholars, the health and social care sector, and the private sector should be involved at all levels of decision-making, particularly in the early design of cannabis-related strategies, policies, laws, and regulations.

bottom of page