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UK to see largest medical cannabis market growth in Europe 2020 to 2025

Photo: Getty
Europe’s cannabis market set to reach $359m in 2020. Photo: Getty

Britain is set to see the greatest cannabis medical market growth rate in Europe between 2020-2025.

According to a new report, entitled European Cannabis 2020, by international cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group, expectations to allow for domestic cultivation and general practitioners prescribing in the coming years will result in a 2020-2025 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 98%.

In 2020, Europe’s cannabis market is projected to reach $359m (£269m) in 2020, a rise of 25% from 2019, and will grow to over $3.1bn by 2025, with a 2020-2025 CAGR of 52%.

Chart: Brightfield Group
Chart: Brightfield Group

Brightfield Group said that while it had initially projected the cannabis market in Europe taking a hit from the pandemic, due to decreasing patient registrations and supply chain disruptions, the market grew 28% during the year.


“The last few months have seen an acceleration in the pace of change in the healthcare industry. As healthcare systems are rebuilt to be more digitally-enabled and personalised, we will reassess the role that cannabis can play in improving a patient's quality of life,” said Gavin Sathianathan, CEO of healthcare tech app Alta-Flora in a statement to Yahoo Finance UK.

“Europe's healthcare systems will be under huge pressure to reduce costs in the next decade, and medical cannabis will eventually play a pivotal role in improving quality of life for millions of people.”

Brightfield said that the market managed to grow during COVID-19 because tele-health became more common and “encouraged the medical cannabis enrollment of trepidatious new patients, and in addition, physicians and pharmacists were some of the only entities to keep the doors open during 2020, thereby leaving current and potential patients with registration and renewal options.”

“In addition, supply chains have gone by-and-large uninterrupted, keeping the market well-stocked,” it added.

In Europe, Germany currently has the largest medical cannabis market with projected sales of $267m in 2020 and is expected to make up to a $2.1bn market by 2025.

Chart: Brightfield Group
Chart: Brightfield Group

“The potential of Europe's cannabis market cannot be overstated but it operates quite differently to the more mature markets in North America,” said Nick Pateras, managing director, Materia Ventures — a company that focuses on manufacturing, distribution, and customer acquisition in the global cannabis market— in a statement to Yahoo Finance UK.

“It is therefore imperative that investors and entrepreneurs take the time to study the complex regulatory frameworks that govern cannabis in Europe, as well as the critical success factors that will drive the continent's future growth.”

As Brightfield Group pointed out, Europe’s medical cannabis market “is still rather small” when compared with the likes of the US where total combined legal sales of medical and adult-use cannabis in the US are projected to reach $35bn by 2025.

WATCH: Cannabis is the next great American growth story

However, “it is poised to grow rapidly, especially once more supportive continent-level (or global) regulations are in place. Once established, they will pave the way for a stable and scalable medical cannabis market across the region, rather than the patchwork that is in place today,” said Brightfield.

Michael Sassano, CEO, Somai Pharma — a company focused on the research, development and distribution of cannabinoid-containing drug formulations in EU — said in a statement to Yahoo Finance UK:

“Europe will attempt to catch up with North America as countries like Denmark, Switzerland and Luxembourg go for adult-use.

“However, the investment appeal of worldwide pharmaceutical acceptance of products, as well as the vast associated distribution networks, will begin to dwarf localised sales networks like dispensaries and social clubs.

“The fact is, most cannabis consumers are trying to fix either pain or sleep or other ailments and want standardised guidance rather than trial and error. And as new demographics open, like the elderly and professionals, there will be more demand for products made from clearly registered sources.”

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