Medical cannabis industry – did you know?

The global medical cannabis market is rapidly evolving, and is estimated to grow by USD 22.33 billion during 2020-2024.

Tendencies and Market Data in the medical cannabis industry

A rising need for effective pain management solutions, along with the increasing legal status of medical cannabis in different countries are expected to be key drivers of growth in this highly fragmented market.

What is medical Cannabis and what is it used for?

Cannabis for medical use is prescribed by a physician and regulated by government programs. Medical cannabis is used to treat a variety of illnesses and afflictions, and the market can be broadly divided into 4 groups – chronic pain, mental disorders, cancer, and others. The active ingredients in cannabis are cannabinoids that act on the human endocannabinoid system. There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis and some can be manufactured synthetically.

How is it sold?

Authorized medical cannabis products may include cannabis extracts, synthetic cannabinoid products, and dried flowers for vaporization. Currently, smoking as a mode of consumption is not recommended in any European country that permits legal medical cannabis use.

Regulatory considerations

In Europe – The legality of cannabis for medical use depends on the country, and mode of preparation. In Europe, Nabiximol – a specific cannabis extract, is approved for Rx use in 20 EU countries including Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, and Sweden. Two other synthetic cannabinoids, Dronabinol and Nabilone, have also been approved in a handful of European countries but are typically only legal for exceptional cases. Most recently, the cannabidiol prescription product Epidyolex was approved in 28 European countries.

In the USA – Cannabis is a schedule I substance (no approved medical use, high potential for abuse) but state laws on medical cannabis directly conflict with this definition, as many states have now legalized its use for medical purposes. Additionally, four prescription cannabinoid drugs are available for prescription in the United States – Marinol, Syndros, Cesamet and Epidiolex.

In Canada – In Canada, the use, possession and production of limited amounts of dried flowers, cannabis oil, plants, seeds and products is legal nationwide for medical purposes.