To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations he has received from pharmaceutical companies on the use of medicinal cannabis in the last two years; and if he will publish the information his Department holds on the position of those companies on whether cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products should be rescheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.
As I announced on 19 June, the Government is undertaking a two-phase review looking at the scheduling of cannabis. Part one of the review considered international evidence for the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabis based medicinal products. Professor Dame Sally Davies, who also serves as the Chief Medical Advisor to the Government and Chief Medical Officer for England, took this forward independently.
This part of the review is now complete and the report was published on 3 July. Also on 3 July, the Home Secretary commissioned the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to undertake part two of the Review. Supported by the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will consider the appropriate schedule for cannabis related products, based on the balance of harms and public health requirements. The ACMD will not reassess the evidence issued by Professor Dame Sally Davies.
I can confirm that my department has not received any representations from pharmaceutical companies on the use of medicinal cannabis in the last two years. In the last 12 months, the Home Office has discussed the potential use of Epidiolex as an alternative option for treatment with the manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals.
Given the Home Office’s role leading on regulatory governance it is not for the department to provide funding for multi-centre trials on the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabis-based products.