Guest author Edward Henry QC, of Mountford Chambers, considers the ongoing issues regarding access to medicinal cannabis, specifically relating to the treatment of children, in the United Kingdom (UK).
As the regulatory landscape around cannabis in the UK evolves, investors are looking toward cannabis companies as a socially conscious investment, but in the UK, the drug is a controlled substance, as such, careful considerations need to be borne in mind. Here, Shannett Thompson explains the legal landscape around cannabis and its implications for investing in cannabis as a UK national.
In September 2020 the FCA published a statement regarding the listing of cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) in the UK. Since then several CRBs have been admitted to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and appetite for investments in the medicinal cannabis industry continues to grow.
Headlines such as “Spain becomes cannabis hub as criminals fill tourism void” (The Guardian 9 October 2020) serve to remind us of the endemic demand for marijuana, the resultant profits to be made and enforcement agencies’ inability to control Europe’s illegal trade run by drug mafias. By contrast, Canada, on 17 October 2018 and following the example of Uruguay, elected to legalise adult personal possession, sharing and cultivation of recreational cannabis.
For the first time, the NHS has agreed to fund a prescription for an unlicensed cannabis-based medicine product (CBMP) for a child. On 14 September 2020, the NHS announced its decision to fund the treatment of Billy Caldwell who is severely epileptic. This decision comes nearly two years after the law changed on 1 November 2018, allowing for CBMP’s to be prescribed by specialists for patients who cannot be helped by other available licensed drugs.
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