In the dynamic world of the medicinal cannabis industry, the recent announcement of the UK’s first ‘own your grow’ initiative by Grow Lab Organics (GLO) and Cancard has created quite a buzz.
At first glance, it seems to be a groundbreaking move towards patient empowerment and democratization of the industry.
However, a closer look reveals a stark contrast between the initiative’s branding and its actual implementation.
Here’s the headline:
“A new initiative is giving patients the opportunity to ‘own their grow’ and invest in the UK medicinal cannabis sector for the first time.“
Misleading Terminology: ‘Grow Your Own’ or ‘Invest Your Own’?
The term ‘own your grow’ suggests that patients will have the opportunity to cultivate their own medicinal cannabis.
This would be a significant shift in the industry, allowing patients to have direct control over their medication, from seed to harvest. However, the reality of the initiative is quite different.
Patients are not, in fact, given the opportunity to grow their own cannabis. Instead, they are invited to invest in GLO, a commercial cannabis company.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with patients investing in a cannabis company, the framing of this initiative as a ‘grow your own’ scheme is misleading.
It creates an illusion of patient empowerment and control that is not reflected in the actual structure of the initiative.
Patients are not growing their own cannabis; they are buying shares in a company that grows cannabis. This is a significant distinction that should not be overlooked.
Accessibility and Inclusivity: Who Can Really ‘Own Their Grow’?
The initiative also raises questions about the accessibility and inclusivity of the investment opportunity.
The minimum buy-in of £100 may be a barrier for many patients who could benefit from medicinal cannabis but do not have the financial means to invest.
This raises concerns about whether the initiative is truly patient-centered or whether it is primarily a fundraising strategy for GLO.
Geographical and Regulatory Challenges: The Isle of Man Factor
Furthermore, the initiative is based on the Isle of Man, where the regulatory framework for cannabis cultivation differs significantly from that of mainland UK.
This geographical and regulatory separation may further complicate the initiative and its accessibility for UK patients.
The Need for Transparency and Genuine Patient Empowerment
While the ‘own your grow’ initiative may offer an investment opportunity for some, it is far from the empowering ‘grow your own’ scheme it is presented as.
It is crucial for patients and potential investors to understand the reality of the initiative and to critically evaluate its implications.
The medicinal cannabis industry has the potential to significantly improve patient wellbeing, but this can only be achieved through transparency, honesty, and genuine patient empowerment.
As we navigate the evolving landscape of medicinal cannabis, let us strive for initiatives that truly put patients first.