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First meeting of UK Cannabis Industry Council lays groundwork for “real change”

Stakeholders from across the sector have set out their agenda for creating a more robust UK industry

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Members of the newly-formed Cannabis Industry Council met for the first time this week. Photo: Sam Cannon

Stakeholders from across the industry met for the first time at the inaugural meeting of the newly-formed Cannabis Industry Council. 

Members of the Cannabis Industry Council (CIC), which launched officially last month, met in London on Wednesday 7 July to set out how they plan to create a more robust UK sector.

More than 100 major organisations have now joined the body, which aims to set standards and drive meaningful change within the UK’s medical cannabis and CBD space. 

The meeting was one of the industry’s first in-person events to take place since the coronavirus pandemic hit last March.

Representatives from more than half the members travelled to be there as the council’s various subgroups, including Research, Hemp, Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), Standards Parliamentary Lobbying and Media, Marketing & PR set out their agenda for moving forward. 

CIC chair, Prof Mike Barnes (right) with Hemp chair Jamie Bartley and secretary Kate Thorpe

Major focuses for research include building a strong scientific case for the use of medicinal cannabis, through real-world evidence and condition-specific research, as well as economic and health cost-benefit analysis. 

There will also be a drive to see the removal of the current licensing framework around industrial Hemp as a controlled drug and a transition of responsibility from the Home Office to DEFRA. The group will also call for the UK THC limit to be raised for industrial hemp, and an allowance for the whole plant to be utilised. 

The introduction of an Office of Medical Cannabis within the UK Government was highlighted as a key lobbying priority, along with patient access, while discussion took place around the development of a set of standards across the industry and the introduction of a code of conduct for all suppliers, dispensers and advertisers, patients and consumers. 

Professor Mike Barnes, founder and chair of the CIC said it was great to be “up and running” and that the response to the initial meeting indicated there was potential to make “real change” as a collective voice for the sector.

From left: Secretary Kate Thorpe, Research chair Anne Katrin Schlag and Prof Mike Barnes. Photo: Sam Cannon

“It was really exciting to see so many people come along to the first meeting of the CIC,” Prof Barnes commented.

“There was some very promising and exciting proposals and ideas set out by the various subgroups, which illustrates just how important and wide ranging out agenda is in the development of the cannabis sector in the UK and the impact this will have on so many industry stakeholders and so many patients.”

He added: “There was a lot of good interaction and good discussion and it was great to see so many representatives from different parts of the industry coming together in such a way.

“Now that the CIC is up and running, we can begin to work towards our shared goal of creating a robust cannabis sector in the UK.”

Find out more about the CIC

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Industry

How The Good Level is changing the UK CBD market for the better

The brand is bringing new energy to the UK CBD market

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The Good Level CBD founders
The Good Level CBD founders, Joe and Jonny

The Good Level is bringing new energy to the UK CBD market by focusing on quality, local products and supporting British farming.

The Good Level is a UK-based CBD company actively working to improve cannabidiol production and distribution in the UK. It works closely with operators throughout the supply chain and builds personal relationships with farmers to deliver higher quality products to customers.

The Good Level’s founders were suffering first hand as a result of the wildly varying standard of CBD within the UK market. They discovered several issues that appeared to be common across the industry, such as the reliance on imported hemp, majorly from China and the USA, alongside poor hygiene practices and chemical extraction techniques.

This discovery gave the brand’s founders, Joe and Jonny, an idea. Instead of following standard business practice and importing hemp from overseas, they would create a brand that offered customers the quality that they themselves wanted locally. Most importantly, led by farmers they had met and chemists they could trust.

“We don’t rely on farming and extraction methods by growers that we have never met and farms that we have never seen,” Joe and Jonny say.

Instead, they focus on developing personal relationships with farmers and vetting all sources.

During their search for CBD, the pair found it “incredibly difficult” to find the right oil. They wanted “something that tickled all [their] boxes” but couldn’t find anything suitable. They discovered that quality varied dramatically from brand to brand, and even batch to batch.

Originally, Joe and Jonny made CBD oil for their own benefit. But they soon saw that their products could benefit a large number of other people who were also searching for quality CBD made in Britain

Joe’s journey toward CBD began in 2016, reading through a journal article discussing the medicinal applications within infantile epilepsy. He had stumbled across the article following numerous accounts from comics in the US proclaiming the stark benefits regular CBD use has brought to their active lifestyles. Once he had seen the science had matched the stories, he tried it for himself and hasn’t looked back since.

Jonny found CBD independently after discovering how it can potentially help people with active lifestyles. He had tried several other high street products, but none of them had worked in the way that he had hoped.

These experiences encouraged Joe and Jonny to build their own brand. They began scouring the UK for farmers who could provide them with the inputs that they required to set up their firm and soon found one in Somerset. They vetted his growing and extraction processes to ensure that his methods were able to support their wellbeing and before long, “family and friends saw the benefits of adhering to such a high quality process.”

Now, the pair say the same process is available to the public.

The Good Level team welcomed the addition of new brand ambassador, Shanaze Read, in August 2021. Shanaze, who is a three-time UCI BMX World Champion & two-time Team Sprint World Champion, hopes to leverage her experience and network to change public opinion of cannabis-based products.

The Good Level offers full-spectrum CBD made of hemp from high-quality UK-based growers to customers throughout the country. It avoids imports and ensures that its oils retain the full terpene content of the hemp plant – constituents which may confer additional health benefits beyond cannabinoids alone.

For more information about the brand, please visit thegoodlevel.com. Email at sales@thegoodlevel.com or call 01628 968897.

 

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Industry

Cannabis legalisation not linked to rise in car accidents, says study

Cannabis legalisation sparked fears that it would increase driving-related emergency rooms admission

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cannabis legalisation car accidents

A team of researchers have studied emergency room records and determined that cannabis legalisation in Canada has not resulted in an increase in admissions.

The data published in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence revealed that there has been no increase in two provinces, Alberta and Ontario.

Canada legalised cannabis in 2018, which led to concerns that it would increase the number of traffic injuries, especially among young drivers.

The researchers, from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of British Columbia, assessed emergency department records to find any patterns in traffic-injury visits in the months leading to the legalisation and immediately afterwards.

They separated the drivers into two groups focusing on adult drivers and teenagers aged 14 to 18-years-old.

Cannabis legalisation and drivers

They reported: “The current study found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalisation patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”

“Given that Canada’s Cannabis Act mandated that the Canadian Parliament review the public health consequences of the Act no later than 2023, the findings of the current study can provide empirical data not only for the Canadian evaluation of the calculus of harms and benefits but also for other international jurisdictions weighing the merits and drawbacks of cannabis legalisation policies.”

The Canadian data is consistent with studies from the United States that show no changes in traffic safety in the months following legalisation.

The study does not take into account the longer-term implications of legalisation despite other studies producing mixed results.

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A study from earlier this year reported that drivers who use cannabis may not feel as impaired as someone else who used the same amount but a different strain.

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UK Fibromyalgia to host two-part webinar on medical cannabis and CBD

A two-part series will educate on the experiences of those living with fibromyalgia and arthritis

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UK Fibromyalgia, a magazine dedicated to the chronic condition, will host a two-part webinar discussing the role that medical cannabis and CBD can play in treatment.

UK Fibromyalgia has joined forces with Integro Clinics, Primary Care Cannabis Network, Cannabis Patient Advocacy and Support Services (CPASS) and PLEA (Patient-led Engagement for Access) to present a two-part webinar discussing fibromyalgia, arthritis and cannabis medicines.

An approximate 1.5-2 million people suffer from fibromyalgia and 10 million have arthritis in the UK. The management of the symptoms of these conditions can take a long time to diagnose correctly and can take even longer before they are effectively brought under control.

This two-part series aims to educate attendees on the experiences and lives of those living with fibromyalgia and arthritis, as well as show the benefits that cannabis medicines and CBD can have in alleviating symptoms of these conditions.

Ann-Marie Bard is one of three patients, who will be speaking at the second episode of the webinar. She suffers from fibromyalgia and takes medical cannabis to manage her symptoms. She shares her story from diagnosis to gaining her CBMP prescription and describes how it has improved her quality of life.

Ann-Marie’s story

Ann-Marie was a respected and accomplished full-time dental surgeon, having practised for over 25 years before she developed fibromyalgia.

In October 2018, she started to experience unexplained pain all over her body, but as is very common, she did not get a final diagnosis until March 2021. She eventually saw a rheumatologist, who was able to classify what she was experiencing as fibromyalgia. This only happened as a result of an emergency dash to the hospital as she was in such crippling pain.

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Anne-Marie said: “I had a major flare-up at work and had to go to the hospital, it was just terrible. I was in severe pain and couldn’t walk, this was by far the worst attack I had ever had. That’s when things became clear and having seen a rheumatologist, I found out it was fibromyalgia, causing my pain.”

“I was put on various medications such as steroids and pain killers; tramadol, amitriptyline and duloxetine. At first, these helped the pain slightly, but the side effects made me feel like a zombie, I had ‘brain fog’, exhaustion and I wasn’t able to drive while I was on them.”

Her fibromyalgia led to her losing the full use of her hands and she was left unable to grip, which meant that she could no longer perform surgery. This had a devastating effect on her mental and psychical health.

It reached the point, that the side effects of these conventional medicines were becoming unbearable. She had first read about Dr Anthony Ordman, a well-known pain consultant and medical lead at Integro Clinics in a UK Fibromyalgia Magazine.

Ann-Marie decided that medicinal cannabis might be worth trying as a solution to her pain. After first seeing Dr Ordman, she immediately felt that she had come to the right place to help her deal with her condition.

Anne-Marie said: “Dr Ordman made me so calm and at ease. I found the whole process so easy because I was speaking to someone who truly listened, understood everything there is to know about fibromyalgia and cared. He really went the extra mile, keeping my GP in the loop and letting them know exactly what he was going to prescribe. Speaking to him made me feel secure and that I was going to get the help that I needed.”

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Ann-Marie was prescribed a mix of THC and CBD cannabis oil, which she found had a hugely positive and beneficial effect.

UK Fibromyalgia: A blue and white logo for the charity UK Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia and cannabis

She added: “The cannabis oil has helped me so much, taking it means I can actually get on with things like yoga, gardening and driving as there is no ‘brain fog’ effect. I can be present mentally, rather than being spaced out and spend more quality time with my family. For me, there are no side effects from the oil, it doesn’t feel like it did when I was on all of the traditional medications. The oil has given me my life back. Cannabis medicines really should be more accessible for everyone, they have changed my life and I believe they can help people in a similar situation to me.”

Ann-Marie believes that more needs to be done to raise awareness when it comes to medical cannabis. She thinks that the NHS should understand that it really is a substantial alternative to conventional medicines.

She explained: “I’m taking part in the webinar because I believe, ultimately, that this medicine should be more accessible. Fibromyalgia sufferers should have access to information about medical cannabis and I hope to raise more awareness of it, letting people know that there are other options than just traditional opioids.”

To register for this free event please follow the links to get your tickets:
Part 1: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/168090997699
Part 2: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/168112536121

If you would like further information or to speak to Dr Anthony Ordman please contact Integro Clinics:

Website: www.integroclinics.com
Email: Contact@integroclinics.com
Twitter: @clinicsintegro

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Dr Anthony Ordman senior clinical adviser and hon. clinical director Integro concluded: Integro Medical Clinics Ltd always recommends remaining under the care and treatment of your GP and specialist for your condition, while using cannabis-based medicines, and the Integro clinical team would always prefer to work in collaboration with them.

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