Cannabis Europa 2019 puts CBD in the spotlight

Industry leaders will gather in London to discuss what lies ahead for the medical cannabis industry in Europe

George McBride, co-founder of Cannabis Europa and CEO of UK-based Hanway Associates, chairing a panel of fellow CEOs from around the globe at Cannabis Europa (Paris) earlier this year. Fleta Solomon of Little Green Pharma brought an Australian perspective, joined by Antonio Costanzo of European company EMMAC Life Sciences, and Canadians Rick Brar of Zenabis and Ben Ward of Wayland. Photo as seen on Facebook

Cannabis Europa, deemed Europe’s most pressing medical cannabis conference, is set to bring industry leaders to London to discuss what lies ahead for the medical cannabis industry in Europe. The event opens on Monday and Tuesday next week (24-25 June) at Southbank Centre. The event, organised by Hanway Associates, is part of the first European Cannabis Week featuring a series of happenings across London until Thursday 29 June.

Last year's event—the inaugural Cannabis Europa London—was a central platform for those who brought about change to the UK’s cannabis laws. Other European nations, including France and Luxembourg, have taken steps toward changing their medical cannabis laws and reviewing their stance on its therapeutic use.

The medical cannabis market attracts foreign investors who are confident in a bright future for European medical cannabis.

Despite the legal and political change, many systems ingrained in European culture and society are blocking the growth of the industry.

European nations, including France and Luxembourg, have taken steps toward changing their medical cannabis laws and reviewing their stance on its therapeutic use

Simple obstacles such as national media outlets’ firewalls blocking the word “cannabis”, social media bans on advertising, or business owners’ hesitancy to promote their stock of legal CBD products for fear of prejudice show that society at large is not yet in step with the times. This hurdle has a direct impact on patient access to medication.

A glimpse into the future

The UK has started to import shipments of medical cannabis, and France is following the path. Everyone with an interest in cannabis product development wonders what's next and how players in the market can overcome the challenges facing the industry. Cannabis Europa aims to answer these questions.

Alastair Moore, co-founder and Managing Director of Cannabis Europa, commented: “Our team has worked incredibly hard to bring together some of the world’s most influential voices in the medical cannabis space, for an event which is shaping up to be as impactful as the last.

"Although we are steadily improving patient access to medication, there are still many questions to be asked and problems to be solved, and it is here, at Cannabis Europa, that these conversations will happen.”

The lineup of speakers has already been announced, including:

  • Cam Battley, CCO of Aurora
  • Andrew Neil, Broadcaster and Journalist
  • Norman Lamb MP, UK House of Commons
  • Dr Marcos Van Velde, Head of the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis
  • Emily Paxhia, Partner at Poseidon Asset Management
  • George Kruis, England International Rugby Player
  • Hannah Deacon, Campaigner and Carer

For the full list of speakers, please visit: www.cannabis-europa.com/speakers

Supreme, the Cannabis specialist headquartered in Toronto, has recently come on board as a gold partner for Cannabis Europa. The Canadian company said it's looking at expanding their European activities.

Navdeep Dhaliwal, CEO of Supreme Cannabis, said: "Thank you to Cannabis Europa for bringing together the medical cannabis community to discuss what lies ahead for the industry in Europe.

"Europe is on the frontier, and we are excited for it to be one of the largest markets in the world. Through our partnership with Malta Enterprises and Medigrow Lesotho, we welcome the opportunity to bring our expertise in production and operations from Canada’s highly regulated market.”

Patient access and medical breakthroughs

In the UK, stories of parents going to great lengths to legally obtain medication for their children dominated headlines in 2018, bringing the issue into the public eye and ultimately leading to changes in legislation.

While these stories may have slipped from the front pages, many people still struggle to obtain this life-changing medication.

Improving patient access to medical cannabis, and the practical logistics of how to go about this will be one of the core issues discussed at Cannabis Europa.

Charlotte Caldwell will be speaking at the event, sharing her personal story of her fight for access for medical cannabis for her son Billy, as will Hannah Deacon, mother of Alfie Dingley, and leading patient advocacy groups such as the UK’s MS Society.

Improving patient access to medical cannabis, and the practical logistics of how to go about this will be one of the core issues discussed at Cannabis Europa

Dr Axel Gille, Managing Director of headline sponsor Aurora Europe, commented: “Awareness of cannabis as medicine is growing throughout Europe, a market with about 600 million people, including millions of Europeans currently struggling with conditions that are commonly and effectively treated with cannabis in North America."

Based in Germany, Aurora Europa is the largest authorised importer, exporter, and distributor of medical cannabis in the European Union.

Gille said Aurora is working with government partners across Europe to expand access to medical cannabis and has seen great success.

Cannabis Europa London 2019 follows on from an event held in Paris in February this year.

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