BCL partner, John Binns writes for Open Access Government on the risks of the UK cannabis industry as a growing focus of big business.
Here is an extract from the article:
“The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that the position is more nuanced than it is, thanks to eye-catching headlines in autumn last year to the effect that medical cannabis had been legalised. In fact, what has happened was that an exception has been made for ‘cannabis-based medicinal products’ (CBMPs), though only where prescribed by a specialist clinician (not just a general practitioner) or granted a marketing authorisation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Those restrictions have proved to be strict in practice and the headlines now are about why, despite the legal change, the number of patients who can actually access medicinal cannabis here remains extremely small 3 and patients who are forced to obtain their medicines abroad are still seeing them seized at the border.
Another common misconception is that cannabis, or cannabis products, with a THC level below 0.2% are straightforwardly legal in the UK. It arises because the threshold is relevant for various purposes in European Union (EU) legislation and other EU jurisdictions and in the UK plays a role in determining when the specialist licensing unit of the Home Office would be prepared to entertain applications for a cultivation licence (and what fees would be applicable for such licences). But where the question is whether a substance contains THC, so as to make it a controlled drug, it plays no role at all and the better legal view is that if there is any measurable THC content, the prohibition applies (subject, of course, to having a Home Office licence).”
This article was originally published on 2nd September 2019. You can read the full article below:
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