HomeNewsUK Cannabinoid Research And Development Group Launches

UK Cannabinoid Research And Development Group Launches

A new research strategy group aims to establish the UK as a global leader in research and development in cannabinoid science.

The Cannabinoid Research and Development Group’s (CRDG’s) co-chairs are George Freeman MP and Professor Trevor Jones, and the organisation has been initially supported by seven industry partners.

Mr. Freeman was the UK’s first Minister for Life Science and is former Minister of State for Science & Technology. Professor Jones was previously Director General of The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and Head of R&D at Wellcome PLC, an independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health through research.

Since cannabis was rescheduled for medical use in 2018, only three medicines have been approved for prescription in the UK. However, the UK has a booming, relatively unregulated consumer CBD product market. Most cannabis-based products for medical use prescribed in the UK are unlicensed via the ‘specials’ pathway, and administered by clinics in the private sector.

Mr. Freeman says not enough has been done to advance clinical understanding of cannabinoids or convert the nation’s cannabinoid research strength to industrial and commercial advantage. He says there is a huge industrial opportunity that the UK cannot afford not to support.

“We must build upon our unique foundations of world class research universities, innovative entrepreneurship, and the NHS to make good on the promise of the summer of 2018. ”

Among the CRDG’s first actions is producing a strategy paper for the new government in July. The group intends creating a robust cannabis ecosystem by integrating universities, research institutions, investors, businesses, and the National Health Service (NHS).

Says Professor Jones:

“The CRDG will focus relentlessly on creating an environment for vital advanced clinical trials and scientific research into cannabinoids to take place here in the UK.”

According to this parliamentary briefing, the UK is (or at least was) the world’s biggest producer and exporter of legal cannabis for medical and scientific purposes; but much of its internal use by patients is met with supply from other countries. While warning the figures should be treated with caution, the briefing states the UK exported the equivalent of 213 tonnes of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes in 2022 – more than half of the reported global total.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

Most Popular