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14th February 2024
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20th July 2023
UK: The Court of Appeal in London has rejected an appeal by the prosecution against the 2020 acquittal in Ipswich Crown Court of retailers trading as Uncle Herb on a charge under the Misuse of Drugs Act of supplying drugs (hemp flower) in 2019. The defendants said that under Article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the Freedom of Movement of Goods principle, one EU member state cannot prohibit trade of goods (in this case hemp flowers imported from Italy) unless the authorities demonstrate a serious risk to public health or morality. The court considered that the EU rules had the force of law at the time of the alleged offence as the UK was then still officially in the EU. The decision does not legalise the sale of hemp flower in the UK, but it does make criminal prosecution of pre-Brexit retailers difficult.
4th July 2023
UK: A Home Office spokesperson has told media: “We want to provide greater clarity for responsible suppliers by introducing defined permitted limits on the controlled cannabinoid content of consumer CBD products.” The ministry is working on this with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which in the meantime is operating a limit of 1 mg THC per container – a restriction which has been criticised by some in the industry.
4th July 2023
UK: Asked whether the government would consider passing hemp licensing over to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and making the process farmer-friendly, junior Home Office minister Chris Philp said he would be meeting Defra colleagues soon to make sure the approach to regulation is as light-touch as possible. “I want to see our domestic industry flourish and I do not want any excessive regulation,” said Philp, adding that some parts of the hemp plant contain high levels of THC and do need regulation.
15th June 2023
16th May 2023
UK: The House of Commons is to debate psilocybin access rights on Thursday (18th May). The Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other organisations have signed a letter urging the government to commission a review of the evidence for psilocybin and re-examine its status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the 2001 Misuse of Drugs Regulations. According to the evidence submitted by a group of university professors, removing psilocybin from Schedule 1 would stimulate investment and innovation in research, trade and healthcare.
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