Potential market for growing hemp for medical purposes: trade association

Poland’s scientific expertise and farming capacity makes it an ideal place for the production of medical cannabis, which could net EUR 500 mln per annum, Michael Klepacz of the Central European Cannabis Forum told PolandIN.

Poland legalised medical cannabis treatment in 2017 and started sales in chemists as of January this year, but so far the product sold over the counter on prescription must be from imported sources.

According to hemp entrepreneur Michael Klepacz, if the market was to grow here, as it has done in California, where 100,000 patients are treated with medical cannabis, then 9.5 tonnes would be used per year, netting EUR 500 mln.

In his view, with Poland’s agricultural expertise and cheaper farming costs, growing the product in Poland could reap higher rewards. The level of knowledge available in Poland is already higher than elsewhere. "Poznań's institute of natural fibres is one of the oldest cannabis research centres in Europe," Mr Klepacz said.

Under Poland’s medical regulations cannabis prescriptions are not subsidised by the state medical system, which indicates that more large-scale clinical trials of the drug would be required in order to make it more available.

The variety which is sold in Poland is very low in CBD, the hallucinogenic substance which produces the ‘high” when consumed (less than one percent of the total), but contains 20 percent THC, which has more of the therapeutic properties found effective in the treatment of seizures and multiple sclerosis in smaller studies.

Andrew Makratewicz De Roy of Bearstone Capital said that research into the healing properties of the over 100 cannabinoids found in hemp has only just begun. “So far only 10 have been tested,” he said.

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To watch the full interview, click here.