The UK is the largest producer and exporter of legal cannabis for medical purposes and scientific research, a new report from a UN body revealed.
According to data from the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the UK produced 95 tons of legal cannabis in 2016, up more than double on the previous year.
This accounted for around 45 per cent of the world total.
And the UK exported 2.1 tons in the same year, which made up more than two thirds (67.7 per cent) of the world total.
The data was revealed as part of the INCB’s annual report, published on Thursday, which examines global drug control.
It highlighted the increasing legal use of cannabis since 2000.
Before 2000, legal use was restricted to scientific research and was reported only by the United States.
But more and more countries have started to use cannabis and cannabis extracts for medical and scientific purposes, the report said.
Second to the UK for cannabis production was Canada, which produced 80.7 tons in 2016, mostly intended for domestic consumption.
They were followed by Portugal (21 tons), Israel (9.2 tons), the Netherlands and Chile (both 1.4 tons).
The Netherlands also came second to the UK as an exporter of cannabis – accounting for 16.4 per cent of the total.