1.4 million medical cannabis users in UK spending £2.6 billion a year on illegal cannabis

Jan 13, 2020

Research conducted by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis UK by YouGov published today highlights the scale of medical cannabis use in the UK.  The YouGov research on behalf of the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis highlighted an estimated 1.4 million users of cannabis in the UK to alleviate a variety of medical conditions.  Study participants highlighted the use of cannabis to treat a variety of conditions including multiple sclerosis, arthritis, depression, chronic pain, epilepsy and anxiety. A significant proportion of those who used cannabis for medical purposes highlighted that they used the drug on a daily basis.  The cost of monthly expenditure varied significantly with some users reporting spending £400 or more.  The projected annual spend on cannabis for medical purposes is considered to be in excess of £2.6 billion.  This cannabis was being sourced from the illicit market and reflects the growing recognition of cannabis medically and scientifically as a potential therapeutic adjunct to a variety of conditions.  (UK Medical Cannabis Study Report)

At Allen Morgan Associates we are frequently called upon to comment on the use of cannabis for its perceived medical benefits.  Many cannabis growers do so because they are unable to sustain the cost of a private prescription, illegal purchases from “Street Dealers” and are unable to obtain an NHS prescription.  The lack of access has been cited as a common cause of frustration despite changes to the law over a year ago to allow specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis based medicinal products.  The lack of regulation of the illicit market coupled with unscrupulous suppliers leaves many users turning to producing their own ‘organic’ cannabis ensuring that they produce a known strain and that no harmful chemicals or pesticides have been used in the plants development.   

We are experts in the field of cannabis production cases. If you require expert evidence on cannabis production we have particular expertise in this area. We have previously produced cannabis under license and have assessed in excess of 1,000 cannabis growing facilities. We are called upon to comment upon cannabis cultivation cases involving a handful of plants through to large-scale commercial grows. Our reports address issues such as yield, sophistication and drug valuations as well as providing insight into other aspects of cannabis use to assist the understanding of the courts, including comment on medical use.        


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