“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 are many more industries that could benefit almost immediately from the proposals set out in our report.”
“The size of this cannabinoid sector is now impossible to ignore. Today’s report reveals that sales of CBD products for 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.”
The sector is now estimated to generate £690 million in annual sales for 2021. This figure surpasses predictions made in the seminal market sizing study undertaken by the CMC in 2019 which estimated the market would be worth £526 million in 2021.
The report claims that, due to domestic restrictions on hemp cultivation and processing in the UK, the bulk of the profits for this industry are going overseas. This is because UK farmers must destroy the parts of the hemp crop which lucrative CBD is extracted from.
Steve Moore – Co-Founder and Strategic Counsel to the CMC and ACI
The report estimates around one-third of the entire domestic market of consumer CBD products could be serviced by homegrown hemp supply if the current estimated acreage of hemp grown in the UK, approximately 2,000 acres, increased tenfold within two years.
“We don’t want the consumer confidence to be undermined. We’re on a good trajectory and we want to stay at that,” he states.
“Previously I think the gray market was operating before regulation and people probably may have had reasonable concerns about the safety of the products.”
According to the ACI, the UK has “improbably” become the world’s second-largest consumer cannabinoids market after the US, spending more on cannabis extracts domestically than vitamin B and C combined.
The UK CBD market grew by approximately a third more than predictions estimated in 2019 (Credit: ACI/CMC). Organizational hurdles
The report indicates the UK cannabinoid market has yet to achieve its full potential. Due to domestic restrictions on hemp cultivation and processing in the UK, the bulk of the profits for the industry are going overseas.
The report’s suggested institutionalized architecture could provide an evolving evidence base for commercial or pharmaceutical applications (Credit: ACI/CMC). Vision for improvement
The report argues it is time for the government to adopt a proactive strategy to seize opportunities in the cannabinoids sector.
One of the greatest concerns in the UK CBD sector is that most laws relating to the cannabis plant are decades-old and have not been updated to reflect new scientific findings.