On the Budget 2023 reading, President Ranil Wickremasinghe said that the government going to appoint an expert committee to investigate the possibility of producing the Cannabis crop exclusively for export. However, with this statement, public opinion on Weed started all over again. So, this is a discussion about the demand, market, medical application, and safety of Cannabis.

History

Cannabis has a long and colorful history. The use of cannabis originated in central Asia or western China. Cannabis has been used for its alleged healing properties for millennia. The first documented case of its use dates to 2800 BC, when it was listed in Emperor Shen Nung’s (regarded as the father of Chinese medicine) pharmacopeia.

However, the medical usage of cannabis is mentioned in the texts of the Indian ayurvedic books, Greek medical books as well as Romans. They used this drug for different health problems such as arthritis, depression, asthma, lack of appetite as well as inflammation, and pain.

Not only that, according to Hindu mythology, the supreme god was given the title “The Lord of Bhanf” because the cannabis plant was his favorite food!

The legal background of Cannabis

The legality of Marijuana for medical and recreational use, its possession, distribution, and cultivation, how it can be consumed (for medical reasons), and for what medical conditions vary from country to country.

However, in most countries these policies are regulated by three UN treaties: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

And also, there are many debates in the countries when legalizing this and most of the countries like in Asia have a long way to go on to at least legalize medical usage.

What is the demand for this?

In 2020, the global cannabis market was worth $20.47 billion.

And the global cannabis market was valued at $28.06 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to $197.75 billion by 2028.

According to the BofA Securities, cannabis sales in the U.S. increased by 40% in 2021 to $25 billion. While that’s not as much of an increase as the 67% jump 2020 saw, it still easily surpassed the $18 Billion in sales from 2020.

Globally, these sales increased to $31 Billion in 2021, carrying the momentum of the green wave forward as this industry continues to prove that a large amount of cash is involved.

Germany recently joined the cannabis legalization revolution, announcing plans to permit the recreational use of the drug, as well as its production.
Across the Atlantic, Canada, Uruguay, and dozens of US states including California have already changed their laws in the past decade to allow people to light up.(NDTV)

Far more countries around 30, have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes, including most European Union members.

Cannabis
Photo by Alexander Grey: https://www.pexels.com/photo/kush-in-close-up-photography-3676962/

What is the world’s largest cannabis market?

The US, Canada, and Mexico have become the world’s largest continental cannabis markets, worth $18.1 billion in 2020.

According to statista.com, California is the single largest cannabis market in the world, larger even than the entire country of Canada.

Which country sells the most Marijuana?

According to fool.com, these five countries will be led the cannabis market by 2024.

  1. United States: $30.1 billion in cannabis spending by 2024

Not a surprise but they project to be the market leader by sales in 2024. The 30.1 billion USD in licensed-store revenue should comprise almost three-quarters go global licensed sales. And also, 9 billion USD expecting from medical side sales and others from the recreational cannabis market.

2. Canada: $5.18 billion by 2024

Canada is the first industrialized country in the world to legalize recreational weed. They are projecting that 4.8 billion USD in sales will come from recreational weed and the rest is medical sales. However, there is a huge competition between the companies in weed production.

3. Germany: $1.35 billion by 2024

Germany is not yet legalizing recreational cannabis, and companies are looking forward to the medical applications of marijuana. Not only that, as the health insurers cover medical weed in the country, should allow sales to soar from $79 million in 2018 to $1.35 billion by 2024.

4. Mexico: $1.02 billion by 2024

Mexico known as one of the oddest “legality’ situations concerning cannabis right now. The country’s supreme court has ruled five times since 2015 imposing a ban on recreational weed is unconstitutional. However, Mexico will have legalized adult-use cannabis by 2024. Their market includes $582 million from recreational cannabis sales and $441 million from medical drugs.

5. United Kingdom: $546.9 million by 2024

The UK identified as one of the fastest-growing countries in the world based on cannabis spending. They forecast revenue of $547 million from medical cannabis by 2024.

Is cannabis a profitable business?

This is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world. Many counties open their market for weed, mostly for medical usage but also some countries for recreational marijuana. So, there is a vast market opportunity for big companies to enter the market. According to some research, there is a net profit margin of 15% to 21%.

Does cannabis use safer than tobacco use?

This may do more harm to a smoker’s lungs and airways than tobacco, according to a small Canadian study published recently.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital looked at chest X-ray scans of 56 cannabis smokers [the majority of whom were also tobacco smokers], 57 non-smokers, and 33 people who smoked only tobacco between 2005 and 2020.

They found higher rates of airway inflammation and emphysema – a chronic lung disease – among regular weed smokers compared to regular tobacco-only smokers and non-smokers.

However, some studies published in the journal of radiology, pointed out that some weed smokers also smoked tobacco, and those lung scans show inconclusive results. That means there should be more studies necessary to prove the point.

Medical application

In 2020, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug under the Single Convention Agreement. It means that the signatory to the convention can allow them for medical use, but it is considered an addictive drug with a serious risk of abuse.

“Medical cannabis” is used to treat a variety of chronic conditions and pain. this is used under medical prescription to treat Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and other neurological conditions.

Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world.

So what will be your opinion on Cannabis usage?

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Author

Hi there! I am Shamal. An Undergraduate student of Psychology at The Open University of Sri Lanka. Doing some studies related to mental health and have good practice in researching the facts. As well as a freelance investigative writer with more than 5 years of experience. I started this blog a few years ago as a hobby. First I wrote about Traveling locations and day-to-day news that feels important to write.

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