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Cannabis sector unites to demand ‘real change’

Almost 100 major organisations have joined a new industry body



The Cannabis Industry Council (CIC) launched officially this week

Almost 100 major players have joined a new body designed to be a ‘truly representative’ force for the cannabis sector. 

The Cannabis Industry Council (CIC), which launched officially this week aims to set standards and drive meaningful change within the UK’s medical cannabis and CBD sector. 

With almost 100 members signed up to collaborate so far, it marks the first time the growing sector has unified through a truly representative cannabis industry body.  

The CIC is calling for patients to be better supported by the sector and for the government to reduce the red tape currently restricting the growth of the industry.

Representatives from clinics, patient access groups, doctors, insurers, licensed producers and cannabis infrastructure bodies, the Council brings together disparate organisations in six sub-groups; Quality Standards, Parliamentary lobbying, Research, Environmental & Social Responsibility and Hemp.

Membership invitation has also been extended to representatives from the Home Office, The Department of Health and NHS England, in the hope of strengthening ties between the cannabis industry and the UK public sector. 

The Council’s launch follows renewed calls for the Government to reduce the red tape hampering the cannabis industry. 

According to a report launched by Maple Tree and Mackrell Solicitors last month, the medical cannabis market could be worth £2 billion, create almost 100,000 jobs and transform patient access if the Government amended its outdated laws and regulations on the sector. 

Prof Mike Barnes is interim chair of the CIC

The CIC will initially be chaired by Professor Mike Barnes, with formal elections and organisational subgroup chairs to be appointed.  

“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,” said Prof Barnes, interim chair of the CIC.

“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. With the participation of the Government, NHS and Home Office, the Cannabis Industry Council hopes to set a gold standard practice on how the sector should operate.”

He added: “Having signed up a large proportion of the industry, we hope to be taken incredibly seriously as a collective voice and trusted gateway for, and by the sector.”

As one of its first acts, the CIC will organise a round table, which will see leading public and private bodies invited to discuss how the UK can develop a robust cannabis industry which improves patient access and stimulates the economy post pandemic

Kate Thorpe, coordinator of the CIC, commented: “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. 

“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. Sadly, their voices are often lost within other industry bodies, so the Council will give patients, businesses and public bodies an equal say.”


Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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