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‘Not fit for purpose’: Conservative MP Crispin Blunt slams UK drug regulation

A prominent Conservative MP has put more pressure on the British government to review how the cannabis industry is regulated.

Crispin Blunt, a long-standing parliamentary campaigner for drug reform, said Whitehall must change to avoid the UK being left behind as other countries embrace medical cannabis.

Blunt said the medical cannabis industry, as well as the nascent medical psychedelics industry, is being stymied by the lack of a proper regulatory framework.

His comments come days after Dr Dan Poulter called on the government to take medical cannabis regulation out of the hands of the Home Office to expand access.

Speaking at a Natural Resources Forum event on the state of the CBD sector, Blunt said ‘plainly the boundaries between medicines, wellness and food are blurring’ and CBD doesn’t ‘sit neatly with one regulator’.

Boris Johnson’s government is facing calls from two Tory MPs to reform drug rules.

He added: “We are making the case to government that you need a new office of drug control in order to address the systemic problems that exist, and those problems go further than cannabis and psychedelics.

“Someone has to be in a place where trade offs have to be judged and a proper cost benefit analysis carried out looking at benefits of medicines for patients, wellness for British consumers – as well as enabling the UK economy to get a decent slice of this business.

“We boast we are a bioscience country but the regulatory frameworks in this space…are utterly not fit for purpose.

His comments were echoed by Paul Hembery, a former motorsports executive who founded UK-based CBD company ULU.

He said: “We are going to allow the rest of the world to make great steps in this industry and in the UK we’ll have nothing to work with.

“We have fantastic farming in this country, we should be exporting, not importing.”

At the same event, industry expert Sarah Ellson called on regulators to rethink the ‘horrendously slow’ novel food process for CBD products.

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