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Medical cannabis in the mainstream: the top cannabis headlines this month



cannabis headlines

The latest coverage of medical cannabis in the mainstream media. From new research to patient stories, here are the top cannabis headlines from the past two weeks.

Amidst the countless stories of cannabis farm busts and cannabis-related arrests, mainstream news outlets will occasionally feature more positive headlines about cannabis and its life-changing impact on patients. Thankfully, coverage of medical cannabis is becoming more balanced in the mainstream media with increasing numbers of outlets taking the plant more seriously.

In the past couple of weeks, we have seen The Independent, the Financial Times, The Telegraph and local paper the Liverpool Echo cover positive change in the cannabis space. Here are five stories not to miss.

Mother of boy with epilepsy urges government to ease process for accessing medical cannabis

The Independent covered Charlotte Caldwell’s calls to make medical cannabis more accessible to families of children with epilepsy. Ms Caldwell and her son Billy were instrumental in campaigns for the legalisation of medical cannabis.

In 2018, after venturing to Canada to acquire medical cannabis treatment, Ms Caldwell and Billy were intercepted by law enforcement who confiscated the prescription. Sajid Javid later returned the medical cannabis and later that year, medical cannabis was legalised for certain conditions.

However, despite changes to the law, Ms Caldwell has continued to criticize the government and healthcare services for the complex process that families need to navigate in order to obtain the potentially life-changing medicine.

“While I am delighted that there is now a route to affordable and reliable medical cannabis treatment in the UK, I am saddened that it remains a complex and at times opaque process,” Caldwell said.

“Four years on from having Billy’s medicine confiscated from me at Heathrow Airport, I want to share the learnings of my experience with other families, for whom the journey need not be so fraught with complication, heartache and vast personal expense.”

The Telegraph reports on positive results from study on cannabis and pain

Earlier this month, The Telegraph featured a cannabis headline, reporting on a study run by Oregon Health and Science University, The research looked at 25 different studies and collated the available data to see if taking cannabis had any benefits.

The study, funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services found that cannabis products with high levels of THC “may be associated with short-term improvements in chronic pain”.

“In general, the limited amount of evidence surprised all of us,” lead author Professor Marian McDongh said.

“With so much buzz around cannabis-related products, and the easy availability of recreational and medical marijuana in many states, consumers and patients might assume there would be more evidence about the benefits and side effects.

“Unfortunately, there is very little scientifically valid research into most of these products.”

Warrington man “amazed” by the effect of medical cannabis on migraines

A man suffering from frequent, severe migraines found almost instant relief with medical cannabis, the Liverpool Echo reported. The man from Warrington was experiencing nausea, hallucinations and “flashing lights” as a result of his migraines resulting in him missing work.

Peter Phillips, 32, told Liverpool Echo: “It was very scary. Because I’m a mental health nurse, I thought I was hallucinating, I thought it was a bit of psychosis, but my GP said it’s part of the migraines.”

Unhappy with the medications he was being prescribed, including beta-blockers, lithium and medications that left him vomiting, Peter searched for an alternative, eventually stumbling across medical cannabis.

Initially, Peter had similar hesitations to many others who have considered medical cannabis. He said: “At first I thought, ‘Is this all a big ruse? Is there actually any medical benefit to it? Is this just people saying it works because they want to get stoned?'”

Peter was issued a prescription for cannabis oil from Saphire Medical Clinics. Within 15 minutes of of taking the medicine, his pain, nausea and light sensitivity disappeared.

He said: “I was very amazed, and I am really amazed at how little I need to use, because you’re not doing it to get stoned, you’re not doing it to be intoxicated.”

Metro covers the latest developments in Germany

Germany recently accelerated its plan for recreational cannabis legalisation, aiming to have cannabis sold in licenced shops by the end of the year. Metro covered the news this week, reporting that the health ministry will begin hearings on the issue tomorrow.

The German Government said the plan would ensure quality control while also protecting young people, and agreed that the ‘social effects’ of the new legislation would be examined after four years.

In early May, health minister Karl Lauterbach said he planned to draw up draft legislation in the second half of the year, following hearings with experts.

Tenacious Labs moves HQ to Jersey to aid expansion plans

Financial Times reported this week on Tenacious Labs’ strategic move to Jersey as cannabis laws further relax on the Channel Islands.

The consumer goods company, which currently produces CBD products, is planning to expand its product range to include THC-containing products but this is currently not permitted in the UK where Tenacious Labs is currently based.

Jersey updated its rules on cannabis products last summer. It now allows proceeds from all cannabis products, including those containing the psychoactive ingredient THC, provided the product is legal in the country where it is sold.

“We are a far more attractive investment proposition headquartered in Jersey than in London as it currently stands,” chief executive Nick Morland told FT.

Tenacious Labs aims to complete the move from London to Jersey by August this year.


Fair Trials and Last Prisoner Project seek to launch global cannabis justice project

Fair Trials’ Global CEO Norman L. Reimer to discuss the project at Cannabis Europa Conference in London on June 29.



fair trials cannabis justice

A new initiative from Fair Trials and the Last Prisoner Project aims to redress the harm caused by cannabis prohibition and to secure relief for those in prison for cannabis-related convictions.

The criminal justice reform NGO, Fair Trials hopes that the industry will support its work in countries across the globe where cannabis laws are being liberalised. Through collaboration with local partners in appropriate jurisdictions, the Fair Trials project will identify people in need of legal assistance, and recruit, train and match volunteer lawyers to take on their cases.

Fair Trials has enlisted the help of the Last Prisoner Project, a coalition of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis sector.

More and more jurisdictions are allowing adults to use and distribute medical and recreational cannabis. But after decades of prohibition, countless people remain behind bars or continue to suffer the collateral consequences of a cannabis conviction.

US research programme studies cannabinoids in ovarian cancer

“The injustice of cannabis prohibition has resulted in millions of people worldwide serving time in prison or being saddled with a cannabis conviction, which brings with it a lifetime of harmful consequences, ranging from education and employment opportunities to immigration status and parental rights,” said Fair Trials Global CEO, Norman L Reimer.

“Of course, these harmful effects of prohibition not only impact the individuals charged, but also their families and communities. And those effects have been borne disproportionately by minorities, communities of colour, and the socio-economically disadvantaged. Legalising cannabis alone does not equal justice. Together, we must address the ongoing harms of past prohibition and leave no cannabis prisoner behind.”

The project will be modelled on the US Cannabis Justice Initiative, a collaborative effort between the cannabis industry and volunteer lawyers in the United States. When Norman Reimer was the Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), he partnered with the Last Prisoner Project to establish the initiative.

“Key to the success of the initiative has been generous donations from legal cannabis companies and consumers nationwide,” said Last Prisoner Project Co-Founder Steve DeAngelo. “Fair Trials, with its global reach as the world’s criminal justice watchdog, is uniquely positioned to build and house the infrastructure that’s going to be needed.”

Tomorrow (29 June), Norman Reimer will address the Cannabis Europa Conference discussing the project. Mr Reimer will be part of a panel entitled ‘Leave No Cannabis Prisoner Behind,’ and will be joined on that panel by Mary Bailey, Managing Director at the Last Prisoner Project; Dr. Laura Garius, Policy Lead at Release; and Denzel Uba, an individual impacted by criminal cannabis prohibition.

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TOWIE star Amy Childs launches CBD range in honour of Jorja Foundation

The product range sees a portion of the proceeds going to the Jorja Foundation.



Amy Childs at the launch of her new CBD range, Jorja Botanicals

TOWIE star Amy Childs launched her new CBD range this week, with a star-studded event that shone a spotlight on the story of six-year-old Jorja Emerson.

Amy Childs was joined by former Love Islanders, Amy Hart and Cara Delahoyde-Massey, alongside her  co-stars, Frankie Essex, Tom Skinner, Carina Lepore, Saffron Lempriere and Mark Ferris, for a heart-warming event celebrating the launch of her new CBD Infused beauty range, Jorja Botanicals.

The signature collection sees a portion of the proceeds going to the Jorja Foundation, which was set up in honour of six-year-old medical cannabis patient, Jorja Emerson.

The event saw The Only Way Is Essex star Frankie Essex, break down in tears as she heard Jorja’s story. Frankie, who gave birth to twins four weeks ago, wiped her eyes when Robin Emerson, Jorja’s father, showed videos of the life-threatening seizures his daughter was suffering before they discovered medical cannabis

Love Island star, Amy Hart has since taken to Instagram to spread the word about the latest political campaign that sees Childs and Emerson petitioning to make medical cannabis more widely available on the NHS

The Jorja Botanicals range was inspired by Jorja, who was diagnosed with a rare chromosome abnormality called 1q43q44 deletion, which has a side effect of life-threatening seizures. Her illness resulted in her being admitted to intensive care on two separate occasions, where Robin was told that she may not make it.

jorja botanicals

TOWIE stars joined Amy Childs for the launch of her new CBD range

To save his daughter’s life, Emerson knew that he had to dig deep and find a treatment that would not only help Jorja but ultimately go on to help others.

At the time it was still illegal to prescribe cannabis in the UK. Emerson joined the campaign to see medical cannabis legalised in the UK in November 2018, and Jorja’s was among the first children to be legally prescribed medicinal cannabis.

In 2021 he went on to create the Jorja Foundation – a charity set up to help other families and children going through the same battles that Robin had to face.

The Jorja Foundation’s core principles are to fund special needs equipment that is not funded through the health system, fund family counselling, private appointments and tests when a second opinion is needed, as well s cannabis-based treatment for children in the UK and to continue to campaign and educate for wider NHS access in the UK for cannabis-based medications.  

Childs commented: “When I saw Robin & Jorja’s story on social media it broke my heart.

As a mum, I couldn’t imagine the pain of being told to take my child home to say goodbye to them. I love that Robin has fought for Jorja & is now helping other families with the Jorja Foundation. 

“I’m so happy that I can help the foundation by being the Creative Director of Jorja Botanicals. We have created some beautiful products for the whole family to enjoy. We will be donating a percentage of the proceeds to the foundation so that we can help as many families as possible. ”

 Emerson added: “ This is the fruition of a lot of hard work over many months and I am extremely proud to launch what is the first family brand in this category. In the coming weeks, we will also be launching a ‘parent’ focused cosmetic range in partnership with our creative director Amy Childs and our premium line of tincture oils.”


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South Africa launches first trial of cannabis for chronic pain

The study will test whether cannabis can replace opioids in the management of chronic pain.



south africa cannabis trial

South Africa’s first cannabis trial has launched after initial results “show promise” for the treatment as a replacement for opioids.

The Pharma Ethics Observational Study is led by Biodata, a subsidiary of Labat Africa, and will test whether cannabis can replace opioids in the management of chronic pain.

The study will involve 1,000 participants who have been taking opioids for pain management for at least three months and are prepared to switch to cannabis as an alternative.

Biodata is the brainchild of Dr Shiksha Gallow, a cannabis clinician and the principal investigator in the trial which took over 18 months to get official clearance.

US research programme studies cannabinoids in ovarian cancer

Dr Gallow said the trial is set to be ground-breaking as South Africa’s first real-world study of medical cannabis. Researchers predict that it will provide much-needed insight into the link between cannabis genetics and patient outcomes.

Dr Gallow told Cannabiz Africa: “We are currently recruiting patients, and data-capturing all the questionnaires and feedback from the patients for the live Study. It has been fairly slow. However, more options have been introduced, as suggested by the patients in the pilot study.

“The pilot results of the study were very promising, as it showed 98 per cent of the patients have some sort of pain relief from the cannabis.

“We were able to wean these patients off their opioid treatment. In the pilot group of patients below the age of 55, it was shown this group preferred to smoke cannabis and patients older than 55 years preferred oil. The patients who smoked the cannabis had relief almost immediately, while the oil took some time to alleviate their pain.”

“Once we reach the sample size required and all of the relevant data has been collated, the results of the study will be published. We have currently renewed this study for another year, due to the initial slow uptake of research participants.”

Patients can apply to be research participants through the Biodata website.

Labat is expanding its footprint over the next few months with the introduction of CannAfrica kiosks in major shopping malls.

The company believes these will be the “ideal locations for physical sign-up points for the study”.

Labat said the kiosks will also serve as Biodata dispensaries and is engaging with a number of vape stores to do the same, although these would have to be subject to South African Health Products Regulatory Authority’s pharma-ethics requirements.

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