Opinions are changing, clarity is forming and the tide of cannabis is turning. Countries around the world are adopting legislation to facilitate the applications of the miracle plant.






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  • The Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016 provides a legislative framework for medicinal cannabis and consequently a great economic opportunity in Australia.

  • Cannabis-derived medications have the potential to treat various high prevalence disorders. The global market sizes of some of these diseases are:

    1. Insomnia: $3.5 billion
    2. Anxiety and depression: $22.5 billion
    3. Drug Resistant Epilepsy: approx. $1 billion
    4. Chronic pain: $11.3 billion
    5. Schizophrenia: $6.3 billion
  • The demand for cannabidiol (CBD) is growing exponentially. As a result, the production of industrial hemp has increased 3000% in the current decade alone. The demand will keep growing as CBD is incorporated into more health products.

  • In USA, 2015 sales from the legal cannabis market were approximately $5.4 Billion and are expected to grow 25% this year, to $6.7 Billion. By 2020 sales are projected to hit $21.8 billion. The Canadian market is expected to grow fast, considering recreational cannabis use is anticipated to be legalized in the near future.

  • Medical cannabis is now legal in Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Italy and Turkey. In the USA, medical cannabis is legal in 28 states whereas recreational cannabis is legal in 8 states and one district.

  • Medical research on cannabis is very extensive, and is growing in the fast moving space. The following search terms are listed together with the related number of results obtained on PubMed.

    1. Cannabis: 15609
    2. Cannabidiol: 1606
    3. Marijuana: 24339
    4. THC: 7852
    5. Cannabis & Cancer: 1228
    6. Cannabinoids & Cancer: 932
    7. THC & Cancer: 500
    8. CBD & cancer: 152
    9. CBD & Epilepsy: 110
    10. CBD & Schizophrenia: 84
  • Total spending on pharmaceutical drugs is estimated to grow by 2020 to $400 billion. This includes the disease categories where cannabinoids (including CBD) have shown the most compelling indications due to their diverse pharmacological interactions.

    Cannabis based medications could cover 10% of the overall market over the next five years, suggesting a market size of at least $20 billion.

  • The market is still restricted but very crowded: respectively 1355, 771, 180, 432 and 609 patents contain the words Cannabis, Cannabinoids, Marijuana, Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). GW Pharma is the main player in the sector and holds over 90 patents. Opportunity is in the detail.


UTT is currently undertaking innovative research projects. Outcomes in these projects will have huge implications and each of them have a high impact factor in the cannabis sector.

  • University of Melbourne

    The project aims to select elite clones from genetically diverse cannabis strains for yield of minor, but therapeutically-active, cannabinoids and develop a pilot-scale extraction and separation procedure that can be scaled-up for commercial production.

  • University of Cagliari

    This project aims to evaluate the use of cannabidiol (CBD) based drugs in autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE) models. The researchers are using a pharmacological model of disease and then a genetic model of disease.

  • Florey Institute

    This project aims to investigate the effect of Cannabidiol in multi-electrode array (MEA) cultures and Dravet Syndrome Mice.


Below are some of UTT’s in-house publications.