Doctors can now legally prescribe medicinal cannabis after the Home Office announced it would reschedule the drug, but a medicinal cannabis salesman says the UK is a way off full legalisation.
Bradley Quirk, who sells cannabis oil products through his business Supplements for the Soul, said: “I think we’ve got quite a turbulent five to ten years until that step potentially coming to the UK.”
'Legalisation showing good results'
Speaking to Mike Graham on the talkRADIO breakfast show, Mr Quirk said the UK should look to the countries where cannabis is legal or semi-legal, like Canada, or certain states in the US.
“It’s showing quite good results - alcohol consumption is down, crime rates are down, so obviously we can look to them to get a bit of research and see how they’re getting on with it,” he said.
A study conducted in January found that violent crime in states on the US/Mexico border fell by around 13% when cannabis was legalised, but this was mainly down to the legalisation decreasing influence of cartels.
Another US study found that cities in Oregon that had at least one store selling recreational cannabis - which is legal in the state - showed a smaller growth in alcohol sales than cities that didn’t have a store selling it.
EU cannabis market 'could grow to £49 billion'
There could also be economic benefits to wider legalisation across Europe, said Quirk.
“I think they’ve estimated that the cannabis market within the EU is estimated to be something like £60 billion within ten years,” he said (cannabis analysis firm Prohibition Partners estimated that the EU market could be worth €56 billion [£49 million] in a decade). “That’s medicinal and potential recreational [profits] if certain countries within the EU were to adopt the Amsterdam [model], and what Canada has done, and certain states in the US,” continued Mr Quirk.
At present, cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use in Spain, and legal for medical use only in several other countries where personal use is illegal but decriminalised.