British Cannabis Companies Urge UK Government to Loosen Trade Restrictions

Under the current regulations, healthcare providers are only permitted to import cannabis to fulfill existing cannabis prescriptions, severely limiting their ability to increase market share.

A group of British cannabis companies have called on the UK government to revise the restrictions surrounding the importation and exportation of medical marijuana.

Although medicinal cannabis has been legal in the UK since 2018—following public outrage when news broke that children with epilepsy had been forced to seek treatment abroad—those that work in the industry say that the government's excessive regulation is stalling the sector's growth and pushing investment overseas.

We're hoping to raise series C funding of up to £15m in the next months, and all of that will be spent in the UK if we can export, otherwise we will have to go to Denmark, Portugal, Holland or Germany. Grow Biotech CEO, Ben Langley

Under the current regulations, healthcare providers are only permitted to import cannabis to fulfill existing cannabis prescriptions, severely limiting their ability to increase market share.

At the same time, the Home Office has also continued to refuse export permit requests for most marijuana-based medicine, which is causing the UK cannabis industry to rapidly fall behind its European counterparts.

According to the CEO of cannabis distributor Grow Biotech, Ben Langley, the UK may even be in danger of missing out on the growing wave of interest from Canadian and American cannabis investors.

Although this should be largely unsurprising, as the consultancy firm Prohibition Partners recently estimated that the British medicinal cannabis market was unlikely to generate more than £10 million this year, while the German sector sells over €15 million of the drug in a single month.

Langley claims that Grow Biotech is currently in the process of trying to expand its manufacturing capabilities but has found itself stymied by the government's restrictive regulations.

However, despite these barriers the company still believes that the UK's pharmaceutical prowess could allow it to eventually emerge as a "market leader" in the medicinal cannabis industry.

"Except for the part that we cannot export," Langley said.

Similarly, the CEO of Cannaray, Scott Maguire, recently stated that the UK's current import restrictions were responsible for high patient costs and longer wait times, which is being exacerbated further by the lack of local cannabis cultivators.

"We're now establishing our supply channel in Canada because we haven't been able to do so in the UK," Maguire said.

Additionally, the company also confirmed that it had recently repositioned its investment strategy to focus on Germany rather the UK market "due to [British] import rules".

This pot stock could reach new heights in 2020 due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and as global markets enter meltdown many cannabis companies are feeling the effects of capital crunch.

While the market crash will continue for some time, it represents a golden opportunity for investors who are capable of riding out the volatility until share prices rally.

Luckily, one pot stock has developed antimicrobial drug that can already treat two superbugs while limiting their ability to develop antibiotic resistance.

Investors can also start picking up shares at rock bottom prices, as global investor sentiment continues to dampen thanks to COVID-19.

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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