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This was one of the takeaways from a new report from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, From Containment to Nurturing: How the UK can become a world leader in cannabinoid innovation,​ authored by Professor Christopher Hodges,  

Should the Government follow the recommendations set out in the report, the UK would be on the path to be a global leader in cannabinoid innovation, he claimed. 

Three objectives​  

Hodges proposed a regulatory framework that would achieve three important objectives: create global competitive advantage for the UK post Brexit; create regulatory best practice for future novel products; and reinforce the UK’s status as an innovator and world leader on issues of environment, health and quality of life. 

Recommendations included calls for GPs to be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis, updates to hemp farming rules, modernisation of the Proceeds to Crime Act and the creation of a patient registry for all cannabis-based medicines prescribed in the UK. 

The report also urged the Government to establish a stewarding authority to govern and guide the sector and implement the required reforms. 

Regulators and industry  

“The recommendations are directed both at regulators and industry, with the understanding that both parties have an obligation to cooperate to steward this new industry and support it to develop in an innovative but also safe and responsible way,”​ Hodges added.  

Parveen Bhatarah, chief scientific officer at the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis/Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, said it was no longer wise or sustainable for the government to continue to take a ‘distanced, disinterested or laissez faire’ attitude to the sector as a whole, as it has done since the cannabis sector’s inception.