Progress for Cannabis in 2023

Liz Filmer
31 Jan 2023

Entering 2023 we can look forward to the possibilities that the new year holds for the cannabis industry and its recreational and medicinal consumers.

Entering 2023 we can look forward to the possibilities that the new year holds for the cannabis industry and its recreational and medicinal consumers.

 The number of medical cannabis patients will grow.
In 2022, an estimated 100,000 people became medical cannabis patients in the UK and Europe. Furthermore, it is believed patient numbers will increase significantly in 2023 as more innovative methods of raising awareness and improving access to legal cannabis medicines are developed. There is a growing amount of evidence on the benefits of medical cannabis. As a result, innovation is expected to improve the prescribing regime in the UK. Access to GP records will be quicker, decreasing delays.
More options for the UK medical community
It's believed that a more expansive range of strain choices and consumption methods will be available to patients in the UK — such as patches. Now that the private medical market is starting to boom), there is a better idea of what patients want.

Attitudes on cannabis continue to evolve.
 We will probably see more 'cannabis lifestyle' trends, similar to what we see with the CBD market.There has been progress in pushing for cannabis reform globally over the past year, notably in the USA, Germany and Thailand. In addition, the British public has spoken in the UK and wants a more liberal approach to cannabis policy. Recent YouGov polling tells us that 42% want less strict laws.

The Czech Republic may beat Germany in legalising cannabis.
Germany recently announced official plans to legalise adult-use cannabis, but roll out could be delayed until next spring. Historically the Czech Republic has been proactive in their cannabis laws; when they say they are going to do something, they follow through quicker than most governments. The Czech Republic were one of the first European countries to sign off on decriminalisation. 

Continued State Legalisation in the USA
Several states, including Oklahoma, Ohio, Hawaii and Minnesota, are contemplating a vote on recreational cannabis reforms in 2023, making adult-use cannabis legal in the majority of US states.  In 2022 two significant moves occured at the federal level the House passing the "marijuana decriminalisation" bill in April and the introduction of the  "Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act" in the Senate could signal a move closer to full federal legislation within the next ten years.

The CBD industry, will take a back seat to the growing medical market.
CBD is a fragmented market, as individual countries have their ownTHC requirements. There will therefore be little growth in the sector until a standard THC allowance is agreed upon. There is also a considerable covert market for intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids (IHDCs), like Delta-8, which technically fall under the legal domain of CBD but unlike CBD, has psychoactive effects comparable to Delta-9 THC. Very little is known or understood about these cannabinoids. The lack of law and enforcement tools is one reason CBD might be hindered as an industry in 2023.

Cannabis as part of the climate and sustainability conversation.
The need to act on climate change has never been more urgent and sustainable development is needed in all areas of life if we are to meet global climate goals. In 2023, the potential of cannabis in sustainable development is likely to gain more attention. Cannabis absorbs double the quantity of CO2 than trees, it also improves soil quality and can be used a sustainable material in both the construction and fabrics industry. It can be used for alternative energy production, and to increase revenue in emerging economies.

Liz Filmer