If God had wanted us to fly he would have given us wings (or cannabis) - Shannett Thompson & Nicola Finnerty quoted in Citywealth

13 June 2019

Shannett Thompson, Senior Associate in our Regulatory team and Nicola Finnerty, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team were quoted in an online article in Citywealth published on the 10 June 2019.

If God had wanted us to fly he would have given us wings (or cannabis)

Shannett and Nicola state:

This means that CBPM's can now be prescribed by specialist doctors without a Home Office licence. At present, there is only one fully UK licensed cannabis derived medicine, and another is working it's way through the process. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been tasked with producing clinical guidelines on the prescription of cannabis-based products for medical use, which it is hoped will bring more clarity to the market. The guidelines are expected in October 2019.

Investors must be very clear that the UK is a far cry away from legalising the recreational use of cannabis, and as such, this is very unlikely to yield positive investment opportunities at any time soon. In many ways, the clear regulation of the market will provide proper controls on what is permissible and what is not, thereby protecting investors from falling foul of the law, as cannabis remains a controlled Class B drug. 

The position is that if the investment would be an offence in this jurisdiction. which it would be as recreational cannabis and non-prescribed medical cannabis is illegal in the UK, then despite the investment taking place in a jurisdiction where it is lawful, the benefit of that investment would constitute criminal property for the purposes of UK law. This is a serious situation because money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

About the authors

Nicola Finnerty is a Partner in the Criminal Litigation team and is a leading criminal defence expert in both business and general crime. She advises on a wealth of matters related to both these areas as well as representing individuals and families in public inquiries and inquests.

Nicola has acted for many high profile individuals who have needed advice on criminal matters. She has also represented corporate clients, financial institutions and professional firms in investigations and proceedings brought by the SFO, CPS, FCA, HMRC and other prosecuting bodies.

Shannett Thompson is a Senior Associate in the Regulatory team. She has substantial experience in advising individuals in relation to their regulatory obligations in the wider context. Her experience extends through the initial investigatory stages, interim order, substantive hearings and appeals. 

Shannett is adept at advising and assisting individuals in respect of registration/licensing applications. She regularly works with the criminal team with regard to regulatory matters emanating from criminal convictions and cautions.

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