Experts believe that the UK could legalise cannabis for recreational use within the next five years.
With countries including Canada and Australia having already loosened their regulations on the drug, the Metro reports that investors have started to circle around cannabis-based companies which are looking to open in the UK, with calls for the drug’s total deregulation growing stronger.
Company representatives and investors met in a plush hotel in London to explore the possibility of investing in cannabis-based businesses. A joint enterprise, perhaps?
Some attendees admitted that they’ve never even tried the drug, but conceded that interest was very high.
“We are very, very eager to get into the UK market,” said Max Zavet, who founded cannabis company Emblem.
Emblem is a company which dries and sells cannabis. They were one of many company officials that attended the meeting in Mayfair last month.
Zavet feels as though it’s just a matter of time before the UK starts to strip away its drug laws on cannabis, opening a lucrative market.
“It will definitely be medical first,” he said.
“Once that starts happening, people aren’t as afraid about pot anymore and the stigma reduces. You may see a recreational regime here in the next five years as well.
“The UK is on the forefront of most industries, but I think the culture is maybe a little too conservative, and is afraid of a new substance to harm children and harm society. That’s even though people are consuming it regularly anyway.”
The legality of cannabis is a contentious issue in the UK. Many feel that it’s a misunderstood drug and its illegality is flawed, suggesting alcohol is more damaging and yet remains on sale to the public.
However, some feel cannabis is very harmful. They say that it can exacerbate mental health issues and should not be legalised simply because alcohol is.
It’s a massive cultural drug in the UK, where over one in twenty UK individuals age 16-59 have used it in the last year – and momentum has now shifted towards its legality.
But don’t sit back and put on your Bob Marley vinyl just yet. A spokesman from the Home Office told the Metro: “Cannabis is a controlled Class B drug, as there is clear scientific and medical evidence that it is a harmful drug, which can damage people’s mental and physical health, as well as harming individuals and communities.
“The government is ‘absolutely committed’ to reducing drug use.”