Britain could be set to legalise cannabis in the next five years, say experts in the industry.
Investors are already setting their sights on the UK as a potential new market with business owners meeting to talk over plans.
Leading companies of the industry held a conference in Mayfair, London, on Thursday to discuss Britain’s likelihood of following Canada, Australia and numerous US states in relaxing their regulations.
Investors are already setting their sights on the UK as a potential new market with experts meeting to talk over plans
Many of those presenting were from Canada with the country set to make recreational use of the drug fully legal by September this year, report Metro.co.uk.
Max Zavet, founder of Canadian cannabis company Emblem, said: ‘We are very, very eager to get into the UK market.’
Emblem is one of 14 companies who were at the Cannabis Invest conference at the May Fair Hotel.
Mr Zavet believes there is a global shift of opinion happening towards the drug and that the UK government will soon have to catch up. He believes it will be legalised medically at first.
Leading companies of the industry held a conference (pictured) in Mayfair on Thursday to discuss Britain’s likelihood of following Canada, Australia and numerous US states in relaxing their regulations
Max Zavet (right), who was at the event (left), and is founder of Canadian cannabis company Emblem, said: ‘We are very, very eager to get into the UK market’
The tycoon added: ‘Once that starts happening, people aren’t as afraid about pot anymore and the stigma reduces. You may see a recreational regime here in the next five years as well.’
Yet the Home Office insists it has no plans to loosen the laws in Britain, describing cannabis as a ‘harmful drug’.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned of the ‘risk of serious consequences for people, such as the development of an enduring psychotic illness, particularly in those who are genetically vulnerable.’
Cannabis under UK law cannot be supplied to the public, and can only be used for research under a Home Office licence.
Emblem is one of 14 companies who were at the Cannabis Invest conference (pictured) at the May Fair Hotel
Despite this, Britain is one of the largest exporters and producers of legal cannabis to other countries.
GW Pharmaceuticals which creates brands Sativex and Epidiolex, used to treat MS and epilepsy, has a licence to grow the drug for medical use.
A Home Office spokesman said the government has no plans to legalise cannabis, medicinally or otherwise.
They added: ‘Cannabis is a controlled Class B drug, as there is clear scientific and medical evidence that it is a harmful drug, which can damage people’s mental and physical health, as well as harming individuals and communities.’