New commission to review the UK’s legal cannabis industry

By Kavitha Sivasubramaniam contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags: Cannabis, cannabidiol, Cbd

A new commission has been set up by The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) and First November Group to review the legal cannabis industry in the UK.

The Hodges Review of UK Public Policy and Regulatory Stewardship of the Legal Cannabis Industry ​will be chaired by Professor Christopher Hodges, Emeritus Professor of Justice Systems, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford.

The final report, which will be available in May 2022, will include recommendations along with a detailed blueprint outlining how the government, as well as its regulation agencies, can accelerate the path to becoming the global leader in cannabinoid research and innovation”.

Detailed recommendations

The report will explore the UK’s legal cannabinoids marketplace, examining its nature and size, and make recommendations for policy and the industry.

The two key areas it will cover include medicinal and consumer cannabinoids. It will consider the complete supply chain, from cultivation and research and development to product development, manufacturing and sales.

Steve Moore, Strategic Counsel, CMC/ACI, says: “The UK has the potential to become a world leader in the field of cannabinoids but to do so it will require more visionary public-private leadership, much more effective public policy stewardship and smarter regulation.

“This report will pinpoint exactly what is needed to make this prize attainable.”

The legal cannabis market in the UK includes cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) which were legalised in 2018, as well as wellness consumer cannabinoids (CC) products that are subject to the FSA’s novel foods approval.

The review aims to create “greater strategic coherence across Whitehall in relation to engagement with the sector in relation to both economic development and regulation”​.

Paul Birch, Founder CMC/ACI, adds: “The UK is already a world leader in life sciences. We should be able to extend this capability, expertise and resources to the cannabinoid sector.

“The report will set out how government can work with the sector to drive the innovation that will deliver health and economic dividend for UK and the world.​”

A welcome review

Jeremy Willcocks, Partner at life sciences law firm Arnold & Porter, says: “We welcome the review by Professor Hodges of the regulation of the UK’s legal cannabis industry.

“Such a review is long overdue. The current regulatory regime certainly lacks a coherent strategy. We look forward to participating in the consultation process and to working with Professor Hodges.”

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