Yesterday, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for CBD (Cannabidiol) Products presented the Plan for a Legal and Regulated UK Hemp and Cannabis Sector to Her Majesty's Government in an effort to develop a robust, well-regulated UK cannabis market.
The APPG business plan
The APPG paper outlines the potential benefits of a thriving cannabis industry in the UK, including new job opportunities, economic growth and the ability to meet “Net Zero” climate responsibilities by 2050. The APPG, co-chaired by Baroness Manzoor CBE and Crispin Blunt MP, urge Her Majesty's Government and other key players to read, understand and potentially act upon the suggestions offered in the plan. The paper lays out a framework that advises on the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to produce a new legal economic sector that benefits the UK.
Benefits of the business plan
If put into practice, the APPG Business Plan will have the following benefits:
- Help the UK farming industry become more competitive
- Create more than 594,000 new job opportunities
- Encourage technological innovation
- Add more than £5.5 billion in annual tax revenue
- Destroy the black market
- Reduce cannabis use among children
- Reduce psychosis caused by dodgy, unregulated cannabis products
- Lower crime rate
The analysis shows how cooperation between the key players such as the government, parliament, and cannabis businesses can lead to future investment, support and protect farmers and entrepreneurs, and strict trading standards. It also outlines essential rules, such as Novel Foods, that need to be amended.
Colorado was used as a yardstick in order to provide a glimpse into the requirements for a nation striving for world-class regulation leadership. The county illustrated the problems that any future administration and parliament must address, while also illuminating the difficulties in securing the significant economic benefits that could result from legalisation in the future.
The blueprint for achieving these potential benefits is laid out in the business plan, covering all the benefits and uses of cannabis, from prescription medication to cattle feed. There is a substantial financial incentive to develop a properly regulated sector that can transform the UK at a time when more money is needed to cover the country’s debt.
Twenty-three specific recommendations have been made in order to maximise the industry's considerable value creation potential, including the following:
- Amend the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002: Investors are wary of making investments in the cannabis industry due to the dangers posed by the Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002. Reforming this act will encourage investment in the industry.
- Relocate hemp licensing to DEFRA: Industrial hemp cultivation licensing should be transferred to DEFRA, as it has agricultural knowledge and is better suited to evaluate applications than the home office.
- Review the Novel Food Regulations and how they apply to dietary supplements made from hemp: Imported CBD food supplements make up the majority of the market in the UK, thanks to restrictions and the Novel Food (NF) procedure.
- Streamline the licensing procedure
- Set THC limits that are commercially sustainable: Only allowing the sale of CBD isolate in the UK invalidates any economic benefits for UK businesses, as the CBD isolate market is dominated by the US and China.
- Permit general practitioners to prescribe cannabis: The existing procedure slows things down and creates unnecessary obstacles.
Based on feedback from trade organisations representing more than 70% of the UK's cannabis industry, the Business Plan clearly outlines the key potential for a domestic cannabis market. This will help the government meet its duty to ensure cannabis-based products' variety, availability, and affordability. This is essential to protect consumers, create new jobs, and eliminate the black market. It is clear that adopting the suggestions laid out in the business plan will significantly benefit the UK.