In this blog we have asked leading Cannabis industry experts to tells us whether they believe ‘Cannabis will be legalised in the UK for recreational use within the next two years?’
Whilst Cannabis has been legalised for medicinal use, in theory in the UK, the reality is that the existing infrastructure and lack of knowledge from the medical profession have meant that we haven’t seen any prescriptions given as yet in the UK. So what does this mean for the full deregulation of Cannabis, as seen in Canada?
Thomas Gray, Founder & CEO at Blume Jobs and Business Development Manager at Grow Biotech
“We are first and foremost Patient focused, as that is the immediate issue to be resolved. As long as patients are being denied access, i can’t see that changing for us. I believe the rest of the industry should have a patient focus as well (be it Therapeutic or medical). I think as a by-product of solving the patient problem, the general public will have greater education around Cannabis and its implications on health. Ultimately I think it would be silly to deny that recreational cannabis is very likely in the next few years, but it may not be everyone’s focus at the moment.”
Robert Jappie, Head of Cannabis Law, Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors:
“The Cannabis industry is growing rapidly in the UK and across Europe. There is a diverse range of CBD products already available, and new ones are becoming available all the time. What’s great for businesses in this sector is that the level of knowledge amongst the public is developing. Demand is there and that demand continues to increase, so there is a huge amount of room for the industry to grow. Not only is it a case of building a business and getting quality products out there, it’s also about educating the public on what products are available and what they can do. The stigma surrounding Cannabis and CBD use lessens by the day and this gives me a great deal of hope for the legalisation of recreational cannabis.
In respect of a timeline, I’m quite optimistic. In my view is you’ll see the rollout of medicinal cannabis in the next two to three years. We should be having an election here in 2022. I am hopeful that by that point recreational cannabis will be an election issue. I genuinely think this issue will be on the table and there is clearly the political will to take such steps. I think Canada provides an example of how to prepare, arrange, and implement a recreational legal cannabis model. What they did over there wasn’t carried out in a cavalier fashion. It involved years and years of planning, and discussions on how to do it right. The UK is at risk of getting left behind. From an economic standpoint, the argument is a no-brainer. I think everyone will be watching Canada to see how things go there. If they have a successful, legitimate industry there, then I can’t see why Britain wouldn’t want to follow suit.”
In a recent article by the Proactive Investors entitled ‘Will the UK ever legalise recreational cannabis?’ their opinion was:
“The UK remains well behind the curve compared to North America. Canada legalised recreational cannabis in October 2018 and has allowed the use of medicinal cannabis since 2011.
While cannabis remains illegal at a federal level in the US, recreational marijuana is now legal in 10 states and medical marijuana is legal in 33.
Thomas, CEO of Sativa Investments, sees the UK following suit on recreational cannabis eventually but not any time soon.
“When I was first interviewed after setting up Sativa Investments in 2017 I was asked when I thought the regulations would change to approve medicinal cannabis in the UK and I said two to three years and it turned out to be four to five months,” he said.
“If you ask me now about recreational use in the UK, I would suggest it was a long way down the road but who knows it does make sense.”
Thomas said there is a case for legalising recreational cannabis as it could mean people stop buying high strength cannabis illegally from the streets and start using regulated products with lower levels of THC.
“(Recreational use) is not a position Sativa Investments takes – it’s a medicinal cannabis company – but if I was to put money on it, I should think that we would follow the rest of the countries around the world.”
In conclusion it would seem to be the consensus that we need to resolve the issues surrounding effectively prescribing Cannabis for medicinal use. The increased understanding and destigmatisation that has come as a result of so much publicity surrounding this polorising issue, seems to suggest that the it will be legalised for recreational use however when this might happen is not fully known.
If the question had been asked two years ago regarding whether the medicinal use of Cannabis would be legalised in the UK I don’t think anyone really anticipated how quickly that came about due to the public pressure.
The UN meet again in December to vote on the declassification of Cannabis however in March they decided to postpone this vote indefinitely so it is unlikely they will be the driving factor behind the decision to legalise it. How success this whole process is in Canada will have an influence but one thing is certain if you legalise and regulate the supply of Cannabis it will only help to reduce the instances of the negative impacts of poor quality illegally grown Cannabis, especially for the younger generation.
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