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A new commission for the United Kingdom (UK), the Hodges Review of UK Public Policy and Regulatory Stewardship of the Legal Cannabis Industry, will analyze its current legal cannabis industry and make recommendations on how to best maximize its growth, consumer satisfaction, and competitive potential on a global scale.
The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), and First November Group, recently announced the launch of a new wide-ranging commission to review regulation and public policy in the United Kingdom’s (UK) legal cannabis industry called the Hodges Review. Professor Christopher Hodges, Emeritus Professor of Justice Systems, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, will chair the commission, which will release its final recommendations in May 2022 (1).
With five guiding objectives, the commission will reportedly consider the UK’s cannabis industry’s entire supply chain from cultivation, research and development to product development and manufacturing and sales. The project’s scope will cover cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) and consumer cannabinoids (CCs), but not the adult-use market. CBMPs were legalized in in UK 2018 and CCs are now subject to novel foods approval by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The UK is also the first jurisdiction in the world to formally regulate consumer cannabinoids products (2).
The final report will outline how the UK can become a global leader in cannabinoid research and innovation. “The UK is already a world leader in life sciences,” said Paul Birch, Founder, CMC/ACI (1). “We should be able to extend this capability, expertise, and resources to the cannabinoid sector. The report will set out how government can work with the sector to drive the innovation that will deliver health and economic dividend for UK and the world.”
Steve Moore, Strategic Counsel, CMC/ACI added (1), “The UK has the potential to become a world leader in the field of cannabinoids, but to do so it will require more visionary public-private leadership, much more effective public policy stewardship, and smarter regulation. This report will pinpoint exactly what is needed to make this prize attainable.”
“We welcome the review by Professor Hodges of the regulation of the UK’s legal cannabis industry. Such a review is long overdue,” said Jeremy Willcocks, Partner at law firm Arnold & Porter. “The current regulatory regime certainly lacks a coherent strategy. We look forward to participating in the consultation process and to working with Professor Hodges.”