Medical cannabis was legalised in November in what was hailed as a landmark moment – in theory, at least.
In practice, strict guidelines and doctors’ lack of experience in prescribing cannabis treatments – reported to have therapeutic effects such as pain relief and alleviating cancer-related symptoms – mean few patients have so far benefited from the change in the law.
Even so, interest in the burgeoning cannabis market is rising and 2019 is likely to be a watershed year when British retail investors can start buying so-called ‘pot stocks’.
Cannabis oil can be used to treat seizures
So as a result, does the London market face a similar prospect to Canada’s? Memery Crystal’s Davis said it will be ‘more measured’ in the UK. And experts warn that investors should proceed with caution as it could turn out to be another market fad.
Russ Mould, investment director at broker AJ Bell, said: ‘Things that go up like a rocket have a bad habit of coming down like a stick. Just ask those investors who were chasing crypto-currencies 18 months ago.’
It is highly unlikely that the drug will be legalised for recreational use in the UK any time soon, especially with studies finding that teenagers who smoke cannabis are more likely to develop mental health issues, and that it can affect users’ memory and concentration.
Mould said: ‘It is still a divisive investment. The deciding factor could rest on whether the positives surrounding medicinal uses of cannabis can start to outweigh the perceived negatives around recreational use and the impact that has on society.’