A UK government taskforce has called for reform to UK medical cannabis regulations, which could significantly boost the UK's medical cannabis industry.

The Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) has made key recommendations that, if implemented, could see licensing of certain aspects of the UK's medicinal cannabis industry moved away from Home Office control to the Department of Health and Social Care or MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency).

In a report published on 16 June, the taskforce notes that current legislation fails to separate rules governing consumer CBD products (including for medical use) from criminal law relating to banned substances derived from cannabis.

As a result, current Home Office rules prevent CBD products from being produced in the UK despite there being a fast-growing and well-established domestic market.

A new Brexit Opportunities Unit has been set up to consider and potentially implement TIGGR's recommendations.

Jamie Foster, a partner in our Life Sciences team commented: 'Many of our clients operating in the medical cannabis sector would welcome a shift in focus towards health. The UK is already the world's largest producer and exporter of cannabis for medical and research applications. The economic benefits of opening this market up for investment and innovation can no longer be ignored, and moving regulatory control to the Department of Health and Social Care or MHRA is the next logical step.'

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