But can these figures possibly be accurate? To find out, we reached out to the INCB, the organisation behind the report. Ms Beate Hammond works for the Secretariat of the INCB (an administrative entity of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and spoke of her role and the study more generally.
“With regards to reports like this, I review the data as it comes in. Governments which are party to the 61 convention, in this case, have to submit information at regular intervals on the uses of narcotic drugs for medical and scientific purposes. The publication you read is the result of these efforts”
There’s a glaring absence, however. Data on the USA’s production and exportation in 2016 is missing. These figures would likely dwarf the UK’s efforts. When pressed on this, Ms Hammond responded, “I don’t think I could give a comment on that which would be fully explanatory of what’s going on. It’s a complicated issue”.
“To report this data in a systematic fashion to the INCB is a very new area. It’s also a new area for the governments dealing with it and for the INCB because cannabis has never been used medically to such an extent as we see it now. I wouldn’t place so much emphasis on the data because it is not 100% complete”.
Of the 95 tons Britain supposedly produces, only 2.1 are exported. As medicinal cannabis products are not widely available in the UK, that leaves a rather hefty 92.9 tons unaccounted for. Ms Hammond, however, says that the data is “not only double checked but triple and quadruple checked” but evidently, something is awry here.
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