The first legal medical cannabis factory on the island of Ireland is on course to start production in 2024. Growth Industries Pharma Ltd, a Belfast-based pharmaceutical company, has been able to push ahead with its construction of a facility to grow medical cannabis. This comes at a time when the UK’s medical cannabis industry is predicted “to be worth over £453m by 2026 – almost a quarter of the total European market by that time.” Further reports from the IMARC group have found that the global medical cannabis industry is forecasted to reach $57.4bn by 2028, with the UK’s medical cannabis sector having the opportunity to create 100,000 new jobs at a time when the cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation are dealing heavy blows to the UK’s economy.
Mamedica – the UK’s leading medicinal cannabis clinic – is at the forefront of this industry growth with its patient numbers up 700% in 2023 alone. The business is now set to hire 200 employees over the next two years to keep up with patient demand and forecasted growth. Considering the success of the legalisation of cannabis in the US – which has since seen the government record a tax revenue of $4.6bn – Jon Robson, CEO and founder of Mamedica, discusses the economic benefits that can arise from tapping into an emerging sector like the UK medical cannabis industry.
Jon Robson comments: “By tapping into the cannabis industry’s vast potential, the UK can establish itself as a leader in the region, attracting investments, driving local economies, and ultimately enhancing the well-being of our population. The growing acceptance of medical cannabis as a viable alternative treatment presents an immense opportunity for economic growth and job creation. As the global cannabis market expands, embracing this emerging sector will not only generate substantial tax revenue for the government but also employment opportunities.”
The taxation of medical cannabis products and related services could create £360m in government revenue, according to Maple Tree Consultants and Mackrell Solicitors. This could as a result provide additional spending on innovation and infrastructure to support the key priorities outlined by the UK government.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has previously announced plans to streamline innovation, remain a global tech competitor and boost economic growth. Alongside the cost-of-living crisis and sky-high energy bills, the UK medical cannabis sector could generate a much-needed capital injection for the government to support households and businesses alike.