Cannabis has come a long way from its illegal roots in backyards and back alleys. And unbeknownst to many, the market for its derivatives is quietly evolving into one of the biggest opportunities the health or the investment industry has seen for a while.
So what’s all the fuss about? The two most talked-about compounds derived from cannabis are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While THC does cause a high, CBD is non-psychoactive and has been shown to be extremely effective at treating many physical, emotional and mental health challenges – without the side-effects of traditional pharmaceuticals. The potential here is enormous.
Firstly despite cannabis being finally legalised for medicinal purposes only in November 2018, it’s still very difficult to get a prescription, but this step has opened the way for a ground-breaking, two-year, NHS clinical trial of cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs), with CBD as a key ingredient. Scheduled to begin in 2021, the evidence from that trial will lay the groundwork for more widespread legalisation, as well as the necessary legislation to regulate quality and access. Various parties have predicted full legalisation any time between 2021 and 2029, with sooner being far more likely than later.
According to the UK Cannabis Report of December 2019, about 1.4 million people in the UK are already using cannabis products acquired on the black market, notoriously unreliable in terms of quality, to relieve their chronic health conditions. Many of these patients are likely to switch to high-quality CBPMs as soon as they become more easily, cheaply and legally available. In fact, the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) predicts that by 2024, the UK medical cannabis market alone will be worth close to £1bn (US$1.3bn).
The market for CBD-based health and wellness products is a burgeoning industry that is currently strictly regulated, although the rules are very lightly enforced. The UK Cannabis Report estimates that 7.3 million people in the UK use products containing CBD each year. In 2019, the sales figures for CBD products were higher than those of vitamins C and D combined, and retailers report record sales in 2020, with even more people looking for relief from stress and anxiety. These markets are likely to expand exponentially with more widespread legalisation.
Halo Labs, a US-founded company that specialises in modern cannabis extraction techniques and
cannabinoid isolation, already owns some of the largest grow sites in North America. They recently acquired the UK-based distributor Canmart, one of only four companies with a Home Office Licence to import CBPMs into the UK. Canmart’s 30,000 square foot storage and distribution facility in England is the ideal base for distribution throughout Europe.
As a prime investment opportunity, this booming industry is certainly worth exploring further. It has the potential not only to make a healthy profit but also to contribute to the health and wellness industry in unprecedented ways, making it an excellent option for the savvy investor looking to get in on the ground floor.
By Kiran Sidhu, CEO and Director at Halo Labs