The first UK-grown cannabis-based medicines are expected to be available to patients by the end of 2023, in what could be a significant milestone for the sector.
Midlands-based medical cannabis producer Dalgety has announced a new contract agreement with Grow Pharma and its licensed JV partner IPS Pharma, enabling the commercial supply of pharmaceutical-grade, THC-rich prescription medicines to the UK market.
In January this year, Dalgety was granted a Home Office licence, allowing it to cultivate and manufacture EU-GMP grade high THC-medical cannabis from its facility.
Its first product is now expected to be available by the end of 2023, making it the first UK-grown cannabis-based medicine to be available for prescription to patients.
James Leavesley, chief operating officer at Dalgety, said: “We began discussions with Grow more than two years ago and we share its ambition as a leader within the medical cannabis industry. From cultivation and processing, through to patient experience, we’re aligned in our aim of providing the highest quality medicine and service to patients. I’m excited to announce that this agreement has now come to fruition.”
The UK medical cannabis market is forecast to reach more than £1bn by 2026, helping boost economic growth in the UK.
Dalgety was founded in 2016 and has since completed several commercial production batches.
Overseeing the growing operation is Brady Green, who is originally from Canada and has more than 15 years’ experience with the specialist form of horticulture, both in his home country and in Europe.
James added: “For the past five years there has been no certainty of UK-based medical cannabis cultivation, meaning the industry has had to solely rely on imports, which is a complex process and impacts the consistency in supply of the medicines being prescribed to patients. We are committed to improve patient access to medical cannabis and ensure patients can receive consistent and high quality medicines that have been manufactured in a highly regulated environment here in the UK.”
Grow Pharma is one of the UK’s largest distributors of quality prescribed cannabis medicines, offering a suite of educational materials for healthcare professionals, as well as one-to-one advice, learning events and prescription support for new doctors.
Pierre van Weperen, CEO of Grow Pharma, commented: “Our focus has always been on the needs of the patient, and it’s clear that Dalgety has heard and understood this within its approach and recognises the importance of this in the long term. Our conversations were focused around that from the start. Anything that simplifies the UK supply chain and enhances its sustainability will make a huge difference to the industry.
“This is a hugely positive collaboration for Grow, being able to bring UK-grown medicines with industry-leading expertise to the pharmaceutical market.”
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