The United Kingdom isn't just known for its fish and chips anymore. It's known for its cultivation of cannabis.

According to a new report by the United Nation's International Narcotics Control Board, the U.K. is the world's largest producer and exporter of cannabis for "medical and scientific" purposes. (Your recent "scientific experiment" was probably made possible by British exports.) In 2016 alone, the country produced 95 tons of cannabis, which accounted for about 45 percent total produced across the world.

According to The Independent, several drug reform groups have criticized the government's stance on cannabis, which is: the plant has no medicinal nor therapeutic value. Of course, this Reefer Madness–era thinking denies real people with serious medical problems access to legitimate and even life-saving treatment. For instance, one 6-year-old boy with severe epileptic seizures was denied medical marijuana, even after undergoing cannabis treatment successfully in the Netherlands.

Additionally, in the United States, state medical marijuana programs can help fight the deadly opioid epidemic. In fact, several studies have shown access to medical cannabis decreases opioid abuse.


The U.K.'s closest competitor is Canada, whwhich o produced almost 81 tons in 2016, according to the U.N. report. The Canadian government is currently making slow progress towards national cannabis legislation.

The majority of the U.K. is already cool with legalization. Vice reports 78 percent of the population think cannabis should finally be legal.