In February this year following a series of meetings with Ministers, advisers and senior officials in Whitehall the Centre of Medicinal Cannabis and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry commissioned Oxford University’s Professor Christopher Hodges to oversee a comprehensive review of the UK legal cannabinoid industry with a particular regard to how public policy and regulation can support the sector’s growth and development.
The invitation to contribute to the report was extended to our members, the wider industry and the many stakeholder groups who engage with the sector. We are grateful to all organisations and individuals who engaged so constructively throughout the process of this review.
From Containment to Nurturing: How the UK can become a world leader in cannabinoid innovation formally launched in London at an event addressed by both George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, the first UK Government Minister to address a legal cannabinoid industry gathering, and Professor Hodges.
The report contains 20 key recommendations which we believe, upon implementation, will set the UK on a path to become the global leader in cannabinoid innovation.
The report’s contents, findings and recommendations are based on original research and results of new opinion surveys conducted by Stack Data Strategy in June 2022. The report covers three linked but separate areas of the legal cannabinoid sector: cultivation (hemp); medicinal cannabis, and consumer cannabinoids (CBD).
The intent behind the report is to establish a settled public policy and regulatory environment that provides optimal support for the UK cannabinoid industry to grow and flourish. The hope is that this report will act as a spur to help maximise growth, profits, consumer and patient satisfaction and the industry’s latent potential. In this way, the UK can create a competitive advantage by stewarding this nascent sector, positioning us at the forefront of global cannabinoid innovation.
Create a settled public policy and regulatory environment that provides optimal support for the UK cannabinoid industry to grow and flourish. The hope is that this report will help maximise growth, profits, consumer and patient satisfaction and the industry’s potential. In this way the UK can create a competitive advantage for the UK in dealing with this nascent sector, and put Britain at the forefront of global cannabinoids.
To build a strategic engagement with Government and associated agencies – move from containment to nurturing
To establish a footprint / landing zone for the sector within government i.e. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
To establish a new robust coherent regulatory framework for CBMPs and consumer cannabinoids in the UK
To optimise the potential public funding opportunities for the sector – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) / Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) – Life sciences
To align ourselves with current government thinking with regard to future regulation
The review considers the size and nature of the UK’s legal marketplace in cannabinoids, and makes policy and industry recommendations.
The scope of the report covers two main areas – medicinal and consumer cannabinoids – and takes into account the entire supply chain from cultivation and R&D to product development, manufacturing and sale.
It does not consider wider arguments for legalisation of cannabis for adult use, as the Government’s recent ten year drugs strategy implies that is not a near-term political prospect at the current time. The UK’s large illegal market in cannabis is therefore out of scope for this project.
Christopher Hodges is Emeritus Professor of Justice Systems, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. He is a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford.
Professor Christopher Hodges is Head of the CMS Research Programme on Civil Justice Systems at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. His books include Ethical Business Practice and Regulation (Hart, 2017), Reform of Class and Representative Actions in European Legal Systems: A New Approach to Collective Redress in Europe (Hart, 2008), European Regulation of Consumer Product Safety (Oxford, 2005), Multi-Party Actions (Oxford, 2001), and European product liability (1993).
He graduated from New College, Oxford in 1976 and worked for 28 years in major City of London law firms, latterly as a partner in CMS Cameron McKenna, specialising in product regulation, product liability and class actions. He is a Fellow of the European Law Institute, and was formerly Erasmus Professor of the Fundamentals of Private Law at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. His PhD was on European Consumer Product Regulation (King’s College, London, 2003).
He has a special interest in health systems and was Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (representing NHS community pharmacists 2007-11).
He was Vice-Chair of the Association of British Healthcare Industries (2004-8), and Chair of EUCOMED’s Legal Affairs Committee (1995-2008).
The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) is a membership organisation for businesses committed to nurturing a safe, legal and flourishing consumer cannabis extract market in the UK and Europe.
The ACI offers its members access to industry expertise, representation and bespoke consultancy solutions.
The ACI also runs an industry news site, Cannabinoid Insight, delivering articles and information on legal cannabis extract trends in the UK.
The First November Group was formed in November 2021 as a platform to represent the legal cannabis industry in the UK.
At this early stage of the development of the British consumer and medicinal cannabis sectors regulation and public policy has a profound impact on businesses operations.
The First November Group is the first industry platform to specifically provide political and parliamentary advocacy on behalf of the sector in all its forms.
Our commitment is to ensure that social responsibility combined with smart regulation are the key drivers of industry growth.
In 2018, the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) founders ran the successful campaign to legalise medicinal cannabis.
The CMC uses a formidable mix of medical expertise, political nous and analytical skills to bring about positive reform for the nascent industry.
The CMC represents a variety of pharmaceutical companies, producers and suppliers dedicated to supplying patients with products of only the highest quality, efficacy and safety.
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