The world’s largest medicinal cannabis firm has urged the federal government to permit GPs to prescribe the drug, calling on the UK to be a “chief not a laggard” in one of many world’s quickest rising main industries.

Cam Battley, chief company officer of Canada-based Aurora Hashish, stated the UK was failing sufferers who would possibly profit from medicinal cannabis, in addition to forfeiting financial achieve, because of the restrictions of the present regulatory regime.

Sajid Javid, the house secretary, authorised using medicinal merchandise derived from cannabis final 12 months following a long-running marketing campaign fronted by the mother and father of youngsters struggling extreme epilepsy, who reported that cannabis oil helped with their situation.

However it might solely be prescribed by specialist physicians and can’t be imported till a prescription has been issued. These guidelines, coupled with division amongst docs about how efficient it’s, means fewer than 100 sufferers are thought to have been prescribed it.

“What was the purpose of making a medical cannabis system if sufferers can’t entry it?” Battley stated, talking on the annual Hashish Europa convention in London, attended by main corporations within the nascent however already multibillion greenback trade.

Cam Battley.

Cam Battley is the chief company officer of Aurora Hashish, the world largest medicinal cannabis firm. {Photograph}: Jill Mead/The Guardian

“It’s time for the UK to take this technique that’s not working and make it work,” he stated. “Let’s be sure that common practitioners can prescribe. There’s no want for requiring a specialist guide to jot down a prescription. I’d prefer to see the UK be a pacesetter, not a laggard.”

David Henn, chief government of Germany-based Cannamedical, backed Battley, saying the regulation “doesn’t make nice sense for sufferers” and likewise pressured up prices.

He stated restrictions on imports attributable to the UK’s regulatory regime meant that Cannamedical might profitably promote medicinal cannabis to pharmacies in Germany at €10 a gram however must ask for £30 a gram to attain the identical margin within the UK.

“We want to have the ability to maintain inventory, usher in bigger quantities in order that as quickly as there’s a prescription you may distribute to pharmacies,” he stated.

He added {that a} no-deal Brexit might make it near-impossible for UK sufferers to acquire medicinal cannabis, until the UK aligns itself with EU guidelines on good manufacturing apply.

Campaigners and firms that produce cannabis say sufferers have reported that it might assist with ache, epilepsy and nausea, together with illness attributable to chemotherapy.

Battley advised the Guardian that the corporate was “making progress” in discussions with the federal government about loosening regulation, including that it was solely within the final 12 months that politicians had been prepared to talk to the corporate.

He pointed to Aurora’s home market of Canada, the place he stated the variety of sufferers had gone from a handful to 400,000 in just some years, with 20,000 physicians having prescribed cannabis since its medical use was legalised in 2001.

Leisure marijuana can also be authorized in Canada, which has turn into the de facto centre of the worldwide trade, internet hosting giants reminiscent of Aurora, which produces 160,000kg of dried flower a 12 months and has a inventory market worth of greater than £5.5bn.

Cover Progress, a rival which trades below the inventory market ticker WEED and has a partnership with rapper Snoop Dogg, is the most important firm by inventory market worth, at £10.6bn.

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Battley additionally warned that the UK was lacking out on growing its personal cannabis trade because of the restrictive regulatory setting.

“It’s not that usually {that a} new trade is invented in actual time. The UK ought to seize maintain of that and the roles that can ensue.

“In any other case there might be questions requested and fingers pointed about who missed the chance. I’d prefer to have a really strong presence right here. This nation is right.”

He additionally predicted that the UK would finally legalise cannabis for leisure use however stated that policymakers would attain this choice “organically”.