David Hardstaff and John Binns write for Open Access Government discussing a blueprint for the UK Cannabis Industry

David Hardstaff and John Binns write for Open Access Government discussing a blueprint for the UK Cannabis Industry

BCL partner John Binns and senior associate David Hardstaff share their views on a blueprint for the UK Cannabis Industry in their recent article for Open Government Access.

Here is a short extract from the article*. If you wish to read the full article, please visit Open Access Government website.

”The Plan is compiled by the APPG, co-chaired by Baroness Manzoor CBE and Crispin Blunt MP (both members of the ruling Conservative Party), with contributions from a range of sources, including clinical and trade groups. A wide array of research features, covering topics ranging from bee diversity to pharmaceuticals.

Aside from the obvious consumer demand for liberalised cannabis policies, the Plan’s headlines focus on the practical opportunities presented by a thriving hemp and cannabis (including CBD) industry. These include an estimated 594,000+ jobs, £5.5 billion in annual tax revenue, and environmental and agricultural benefits aimed at meeting carbon neutrality commitments by 2050.

The analysis opens by observing that the UK does not have to address the issue of legalised recreational THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – the key psychoactive element of cannabis) to establish itself as a viable commercial hub. Tactically, this is a shrewd opener, cutting through the stasis sometimes resulting from differing views on the recreational use of cannabis. The case is made that the question of recreational use doesn’t have to be resolved once and for all before starting work on a more coherent plan for the UK’s wider cannabis industry. The risk, the Plan emphasises, is that if we fail to act now, the UK cannabis industry will be ill- equipped to compete with its peers as the global cannabis market flourishes.”

* This article was first published by Open Access Government on 25 August 2022.  If you wish you read the full article please visit Open Access Government website.


John Binns is a specialist in proceeds of crime laws, cannabis regulation, sanctions, and tax investigations. He has extensive experience in financial crime, which also involves bribery and corruption, extradition, Interpol, fraud, market abuse, and the conduct of related civil proceedings. He is a prolific writer and speaker on a variety of topics.

David Hardstaff is an associate solicitor at BCL specialising in criminal and regulatory law. He advises individuals and companies in relation to controlled drug licensing and AML/Proceeds of Crime considerations in the context of the domestic and international cannabis market. He has particular experience in advising and representing individuals accused of sexual offences, drugs offences and offences involving violence. He is an experienced police station representative and advocate and represents clients in a broad range of proceedings at the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

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