The UK legalized medicinal marijuana last year, although few patients have been able to receive any cannabis due to extremely stringent criteria that prescribing doctors must adhere to. Yet CBD products with low doses of THC have been legal for some time in the UK and derivatives are sold in supermarkets and health store chains across the country.
There are not many retailers specifically dedicated to simply cannabis products, but that is starting to change, as medicinal cannabis retailer CBD Oils UK is expanding its empire to 10 stores throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland, meanwhile CBD Life UK and Hemp Botanics will soon be launching.
It all points to a gradual acceptance of cannabis in everyday life in the UK, the world’s sixth largest economy, so it could become a key marijuana market going forward.
A similar situation exists in the Republic of Ireland, where cannabis is legalized for medicinal purposes but rollout has been delayed as the government says it has been unable to find a suitable supplier. Protestors have been marching through the streets, inspired by the yellow vests movement in France, demanding a proper medicinal cannabis industry, among other things.
But CBD has been legal for a while now and one firm in Dundalk is quietly becoming a major player in this trade. Celtic Wind Farms plans to hire around 250 staff over the next four years as it plots an expansion into the U.S. and Scandinavia.
It launched CBD oil in 2016 and said the business has since gone “interstellar”. It forecasts that it will quadruple sales and surge past the €10 million ($11.4) million mark this year, and that the business will continue to soar after that. Founder Joe Gavin says sales are growing three to four times year-on-year.
It has 2,500 acres of land in the Cooley Mountains in County Leith upon which it grows its hemp, and it also plans to build a manufacturing hub in Northern Ireland to buffer it against any political levies in the UK, while speeding up its deliveries to Britain. It claims to be in every Irish health store and 60% of pharmacies, while last year it signed a deal to supply Lloyds Pharmacies in the UK.