Before being outlawed by most countries in the early part of the 20th century, cannabis had been used for 5,000 years and was highly valued for its healing properties by the ancient civilizations. After decades of sitting on the list of illegal substances, the plant is making its comeback in a major way. “Not that long ago, people had negative perceptions about cannabis users as a stereotypical image was perpetuated in the media and popular culture. Unfortunately, governments that introduced bans on production and consumption were concerned predominantly with the societal impact of recreational use, refusing to make allowances for the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Over the past 20 years, attitudes and perceptions have evolved, and attention has turned to the opportunities missed because of criminalization. With legalization accelerating worldwide and new applications emerging, the medicinal cannabis industry is experiencing robust growth,” comments Canadian company InstaDose Pharma, a leading supplier of medical-grade cannabinoid oil.
Although the numbers vary, market intelligence providers agree that the medical cannabis industry will continue to grow at an impressive rate amid increasing recognition of the plant’s therapeutic benefits. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global cannabis market will deliver compound annual growth of about 33% between 2018 and 2026, rising in value from $10.6 billion to $97.4 billion over this period. The medical segment accounted for half of total revenues in 2018, the report noting that “Medical marijuana is leading the application scenario – the recent wave of legislation in the developed markets is based on strong clinical evidence of its health benefits […] The health and wellness trend resonating in the global marketplace has facilitated the medical marijuana market growth and the utilization of cannabidiol (CBD) in particular. There is a growing body of research that indicates the potential benefits of CBD in treating a variety of illnesses, including chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, [and] cancer.”
According to some estimates, 1.2 billion people around the world have medical conditions that can be alleviated with cannabis-based treatments. In its industry forecast, IMARC projects compound annual growth of the global medical cannabis market between 2019 and 2024 to $44.4 billion. Commenting on factors fueling this boom, IMARC says, “The steadily aging population across the globe has played a significant role in driving the demand for medical cannabis […]. Clinical trials, research and development (R&D) activities, and commercialization of cannabis-based indications are further expected to catalyze the growth of the market.”
Canada-based InstaDose Pharma was established in 2018 as an extension of a ground-breaking deal between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and GlobAgro Corporation, a company launched by Grant Sanders, the chairman and CEO of InstaDose Pharma. Under the terms of the historic agreement, which envisions creating the world’s largest local and global food securitization program, the Canadian company became the first to obtain a full license to cultivate medical cannabis in the DRC, and it is the only one with permission to export this product from the African country for international sale and distribution. InstaDose Pharma currently manages the world’s biggest agricultural platform for cannabis, with over one million hectares of outdoor cultivation capacity dedicated and reserved for this purpose. It has also established processing and distribution operations in North Macedonia, building up its capabilities to facilitate the entry of big pharmaceutical companies as well as food and beverage producers into the medical cannabis and cannabinoid oil markets.