Medical cannabis is becoming increasingly available in many countries worldwide. However, selling medical and pharmaceutical cannabis internationally presents a unique set of challenges for companies looking to enter this emerging market. While demand for medical cannabis continues to rise, the combination of technical and legal risks can make it difficult for companies to generate sales and revenue.
One of the primary technical risks associated with selling medical cannabis is the complex regulatory environment. Each country has its own laws and regulations governing the sale and use of medical cannabis, and companies must navigate these regulations to ensure compliance. This can be particularly challenging for companies looking to operate in multiple countries, as they must meet the different regulatory requirements for each country they operate in.
Another technical challenge is the quality control of cannabis products. Medical cannabis must meet stringent quality standards to ensure safety and efficacy. It is therefore necessary for companies to invest in the necessary equipment and procedures to maintain the quality and consistency of their products, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Legal risks also pose a significant challenge for companies looking to sell medical cannabis internationally. While a growing number of countries have legalised medical cannabis, many have not, and companies may face legal hurdles in countries where it remains illegal. Even in countries where medical cannabis is legal, restrictions on importing or exporting cannabis products may still apply.
The lack of awareness and education among healthcare professionals and patients also represents one of the biggest obstacles to generating sales and revenue within the medical cannabis industry. While the use of medical cannabis has become more widely accepted in recent years, many healthcare professionals are still hesitant to prescribe it due to a lack of understanding of its potential benefits and risks. Similarly, many patients are not aware of the medical uses of cannabis or how to access it.
In addition, medical cannabis products are often expensive, which can deter patients from seeking a prescription. For example, an NHS England review noted that “given the cost of CBPMs, it was unlikely that these medicines would be routinely funded.” In the UK, patients can access medical cannabis through private prescriptions; however, costs remain high. Globally, many insurance companies do not cover the cost of medical cannabis, which often makes treatment unaffordable for many patients.
Despite these challenges, the medical cannabis industry is poised for significant growth in the coming years. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global medical cannabis market is expected to reach $73.6 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 22.9% from 2020 to 2027.
To succeed in this market, companies must invest in research and development, quality control, and education initiatives to ensure that their products are safe and effective and that healthcare professionals and patients are aware of their potential benefits. Companies must also be prepared to navigate the complex regulatory environment and legal risks associated with selling medical cannabis internationally.
In conclusion, while the international sale of medical and pharmaceutical cannabis presents a unique set of technical and legal risks, companies that are able to navigate these challenges and invest effectively stand to benefit from the significant growth potential of this emerging market.