Five cannabis industry figures that will blow your mind

No matter where you stand on the matter, cannabis is a hot topic that always gets people talking.

November 1st 2018 saw doctors being able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients in the UK, however, the law still carries hefty sentences for people caught in possession of the drug. Amongst talk of police softening their approach to cannabis users, Business Leader has picked five intriguing cannabis figures.


Research by the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2018 found that the UK cannabis market was worth £2.6 bn. These figures undoubtedly need to be taken with a pinch of salt as cannabis is still a Class B drug, with a potential five-year prison term and an unlimited fine, or both, if you’re caught in possession of it.

The research also suggests that legalizing the drug could save public services, such as the NHS, as much as £300 million. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a 2018 interview that he would legalise marijuana should he become Prime Minister. Is this political manoeuvring or a campaign promise?


MedMen was started by Adam Bierman and Andrew Modlin in 2010. The pair, just 28 and 22 respectively at the time, were partners in their own marketing and branding agency but realised there was a business opportunity in a growing cannabis industry.

Fast forward to today and the company is publicly listed on Wall Street with over 1,000 employees. The company reported revenues of $21.5m in the first quarter fiscal 2019, a whopping 1,094% increase compared to the previous year. The California-based company are an excellent example of what can be achieved by businesses in an area where cannabis is legalised.

2.1 million people

The Health & Social Care Information Centre looked into drug use in England and Wales in 2016. They found that 6.5% of adults, around 2.1 million people, between the ages of 16 and 59 had used cannabis in the last year, a significant fall from 8.7% a decade earlier. The report found that 9.1% of men and 3.8% of women had reported using cannabis in the last year, making men twice as likely to use the drug


A recent study by Oxford University has found that teenagers smoking cannabis had a 37% higher risk of depression. Similar studies come to different conclusions, including a review published in Clinical Psychology Review, which found that mental health conditions are one of the prominent reasons most people use the drug in the first place.

95 tons

In 2016, the International Narcotics Control Board found that the United Kingdom was the primary producer of medical marijuana with 95 tons, an incredible 44.9% of the world’s total production. This was quite a spike from the just over 41 tons the previous year.

The same report found that the UK accounted for 67% of the world’s total cannabis exports with 2.1 tons. Who has the licence from the Home Office to produce this marijuana? British Sugar, the UK’s leading sugar producer that accounts for two-thirds of the country’s sugar supply.