Medical Marijuana creates new business opportunities within the UK

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Medical Marijuana creates new business opportunities within the UK

Published 17 October 2018

As was apparent from presenters' comments at the recent Cannabis Invest UK event, which DAC Beachcroft sponsored, there is a great deal of interest in the medical cannabis sector. New medical products are coming to the market all the time and more than one speaker noted that there is a "huge potential business opportunity" for the UK here.

Medical cannabis laws will change in the UK on 1 November 2018. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018 introduce a definition of ‘cannabis-based product for medicinal use in humans’ and products meeting this definition will be rescheduled under applicable legislation to allow medical useage. 

To constitute a ‘cannabis-based product for medicinal use in humans’, a product must satisfy three requirements:

  1. be a preparation or product which contains cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabinol or a cannabinol derivative;

  2.  be produced for medicinal use in humans; and

  3. be a medicinal product, or a substance or preparation for use as an ingredient of, or in the production of an ingredient of, a medicinal product.

Products which do not satisfy this definition will remain a Schedule 1 drug and will only be available under a Home Office licence.

It will be interesting to read the small print when the new legislation is implemented, and some have commented that there will need to be a programme of education for healthcare professionals to inform them about the new medicines. And, of course, no medicinal products could be prescribed in the UK until approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Nevertheless, the speed with which the law has changed is remarkable, and we look forward to continuing to advise both domestic and overseas clients in this fast-moving and entrepreneurial sector


Jonathan Deverill

Jonathan Deverill

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6045

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