Colin, part of ADAS’s sustainable food and farming team, told the publication that cannabis could present lucrative opportunities if the government can change its regulations to support this.
Currently, “Home Office rules don’t permit farmers to use the flowers from the non-psychoactive strains of cannabis to make CBD oil, meaning it has to be manufactured abroad and imported”. However, the CBD oil imported, mostly from Lithuania, Poland and Africa, often contains several times the legal limit of THC (the psychoactive chemical that is found in medicinal cannabis oil and the cannabis sold illegally).
If the government changed its policies, we could much more easily regulate the quality and THC content of the CBD oil, argues Colin. “Without being able to sell to the burgeoning CBD oil market, farmers have been struggling to make cannabis commercial, as it only becomes fully economically viable when both flowers and stalks can be utilised,” he continues.
Cannabis and its by-products are becoming more widely used and can provide sustainable alternatives in various markets. For example, cannabis products can be used as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic, in textiles as a locally sourced alternative to cotton, and in vegan foods. “You can even build houses from them [cannabis stalks],” Colin adds.
To take advantage of this hardy and versatile crop, the government must move quickly. African cannabis is increasingly becoming plentiful and cheap and could dominate the market if the UK doesn’t stake its claim soon.
You can read the article in full on the Farmers Guardian website.
The ADAS sustainable food and farming team have been working in the cannabis sector throughout 2019. They offer a range of clear services to the sector that are advertised on their website on a dedicated cannabis service page. This year, ADAS has already been active on a contract in the sector, and it currently has several very interesting opportunities. Moreover, ADAS personnel have spoken at many interesting cannabis events this year.