New UK cannabis industry body brings together a wide range of expertise

A new UK cannabis industry association claims to be the first to bring together members from every aspect of the industry – with a range of more than 100 members already, including patient groups, law firms, licensed producers, insurers and hemp CBD bodies.

The Cannabis Industry Council (CIC) will start to look to set cannabis and CBD standards as well as reduce restrictions on medical cannabis access.

“It must not be forgotten that at the industry’s root are very unwell adults and children who, even after being lucky enough to receive a medicinal cannabis prescription, face high costs and long waiting times,” said Kate Thorpe, CIC coordinator. “Collaboration and harmony is a crucial component for the advancement of any sector, and this is nowhere truer than in the cannabis space. Only by harnessing the greatest breadth of expertise and by offering all organisations within the industry a voice can we generate real change.”

Six sub-groups will focus on the areas of main priority: quality standards, parliamentary lobbying, research, environmental and social responsibility, and hemp.

Around 100 initial members have already joined, with further invitations extended to government representatives in relevant departments such as the Home Office, the Department of Health and NHS England in the hope of strengthening ties between the cannabis industry and the public sector.

Members will be invited to take part in a CIC round-table to discuss initial plans for boosting patient access as well as other measures that could be taken to strengthen the sector post-pandemic.

The CIC will initially be chaired by Professor Mike Barnes, with formal elections and organisational subgroup chairs to be appointed. Barnes will continue his work with other organisations during his chairmanship.

“Despite having a reputation as a globally dominant medicinal cannabis producer, the UK is almost entirely unable to cater to the needs of domestic patients. As it stands, there are numerous restrictions on full medical access due to unclear governmental bureaucracy, a lack of medical education and restrictive guidelines from NICE and other regulatory bodies,” Barnes said. “We hope to be taken incredibly seriously as a collective voice and trusted gateway for, and by, the sector.”

Members of the CIC include organisations from a variety of sectors such as:

  • Clinics (such as MCS Clinic, Lyphe Group)
  • Dispensaries (such as Dispensary Green, Access Kaneh – getting prescriptions to patients)
  • Importers (Sana Life Science – supply chain platforms)
  • Patient groups (such as Medcan Support – informing and educating patients so they can feel confident speaking to clinicians about cannabis)
  • Professional bodies (such as MCCS – peer support and information within professional circles such as amongst clinicians)
  • Infrastructure bodies (Pharmaseeds, Goodplant Ventures – setting benchmarks for quality and compliance in the cannabis industry)
  • Media, marketing and PR (Cannabis Health Magazine, BusinessCann)
  • Licensed producers (Alto Verde, Pure Isolation)
  • Agriculture (Master Garden Nutrients – agricultural wholesale, selling seeds, growing materials etc.)
  • Hemp CBD bodies (British Hemp Alliance, Cannabis Trades Association – trade bodies in the hemp and CBD space which bring the industry together and lobby for change)
  • Political groups (APPG on Drug Policy Reform, The Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group (CDPRG)
  • Education providers (Sativa Learning – cannabis courses for doctors, legal experts, scientists etc.)
  • Sector consultants (Hemp Hound, Maple Tree)
  • Research groups (113 Botanicals)
  • Lawyers (Mackrell)
  • Insurers (Towergate Insurance)
  • Others (women in cannabis, aqua labs).

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