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Poised for growth: the European medicinal cannabis market


By  Daniel Gelemanovic, co-founder of medical cannabis specialist swisscann

Moves towards further legalisation of cannabis-based medical products (CBMPs) and the growing body of evidence underlining their impact in addressing a range of health concerns have put the European industry in a prime position to achieve major growth over the next few years.

Germany, Europe’s largest market, is forecasting growth from its current value of around €390m to more than €1bn per annum in the next four years.

Meanwhile, the UK market, currently worth €44m per year, is expected to rise to over half a billion Euros per annum in that period. France, Italy and Poland are among other European nations anticipating a huge spike in medicinal cannabis sales with the numbers of patients set to rise from currently modest levels to six figures across all these markets.

CBMPs containing Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, are being increasingly prescribed to treat a range of diseases and conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy. They also effectively manage symptoms such as inflammation, pain, nausea, trembling, muscle spasms, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

The liberalisation of Europe’s markets comes as numerous studies, including recent research by academics at Australia’s Western Sydney University and University of Michigan School of Medicine in the US, have underlined the benefits of medicinal cannabis, showing how its use has fewer adverse effects compared with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and opioids.

While it is always important for clinicians to determine the primary purpose of using CBMPs before prescribing these to patients, they can offer an effective means of managing chronic pain without the addictive impact that comes with many opioids.

A recent UK study also reported significant improvements in anxiety levels for patients living with generalised anxiety disorder when they were prescribed CBMPs. Meanwhile, further research by Imperial College London highlighted their effectiveness in helping people with epilepsy. In this study, there was a 97% mean reduction in monthly seizure frequency among patients after using CBMPs.

Investor interest in cannabis

Amid these positive research outcomes and the impressive growth forecasts across a number of European markets, we are now seeing a strong upturn in investor interest in medicinal cannabis producers. Our own crowdfunding round launched earlier this month on the UK-based Seedrs platform exceeded our £850K target within 24 hours of going live.

The European cannabis sector has also benefitted from the learnings of other global markets, including North America where cannabis was over-hyped as the sector opened to mainstream business after being liberalised. The European sector has been much more focused on scaling its production to ensure it remains in line with demand with a stronger emphasis on quality products to avoid market saturation and maximise patient outcomes.

As a result of this measured approach, European medicinal cannabis producers are well-placed to tap into a substantial share of the annual global market which is valued at over £9bn with nearly 20% growth per year being projected between now and 2027.

As numerous studies have shown, CBMPs can have a radical and positive impact on patient care, offering powerful symptom relief with fewer side effects than many conventional drugs, all of which can vastly enhance users’ quality of life.

Companies like swisscann, which focus on all-natural CBMPs products, are bringing an alternative approach to medicine which has proven to be a game changer for many patients. With the European market for CBMPs set to open up, there’s an exciting opportunity for our industry to establish a strong presence both in Europe and globally.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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