A report by the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee has said that the government’s presentation of the 1 November 2018 law change – permitting specialists to prescribe cannabis medicine – unfairly raised the hopes of families and patients.
The public had expected ready access to prescriptions but that had not and will not happen any time soon, the MPs said.
The report said that products remained unlicensed due to a lack of research and found the government had “failed to communicate” this, leaving doctors to face a backlash.
MPs said some pharmaceutical companies were not making their products available for research and that clinical trials would take years. The Department of Health should “name and shame” companies that obstruct trials “as a matter of urgency”.
They added that there is currently no UK supplier for patients to turn to and recommended that prescribed cannabis from overseas should not be seized.
The report said that cost – £25,000 to £30,000 a year to treat one child with rare epilepsy – remained a barrier.
Only three prescriptions have been issued by the NHS since the law change, with another 80 or so coming privately.
Spalding-based Bridge Farm Group has being bought by Canadian medical cannabis firm Sundial Growers, which will expand the farm to an estimated 3.8 million square feet and make it into one of the biggest fully automated growing structures in Europe.
Sundial plans to use the Lincolnshire site to grow hemp for production of CBD.
Ted Hellard, Executive Chairman of Sundial said: “Bridge Farm has been an acquisition we have set a goal on for some time. Their current structure size of 1.8 million square feet will be increased to 2.8 million by early 2020 and 3.8 million by the end of 2020, allowing Bridge Farm to become one of the largest fully automated, protected growing facilities in Europe.”
A west Wales town whose “prime asset” is cannabis will be the subject of the follow-up to cult film Twin Town, its director Kevin Allen has said.
The filming of Tin is due to begin this year, and will focus on cannabis growers in Llanelli, starring original cast members including brothers Rhys Ifans and Llyr Ifans.
However, for legal reasons mean Tin cannot be classified as a sequel to Twin Town, and returning actors will not be playing the same characters. Twin Town was filmed and set in Swansea, but the action of the new film moves 10 miles west to Llanelli.
“It’s a different feel, a different accent, different rhythms. It is an area I know well by virtue of my mother coming from Llanelli,” he said. “It’s about a community in Carmarthenshire, not stoners or hippies, but where the entire community are growing the best sunshine, outdoor weed in Europe.”
The writer and director said the film was inspired by the travails involved with the legalisation of cannabis.
“What happens with legalisation – as has happened in America – [is that] the small independent growers are getting nudged out very quickly by the big corporate guys,” he said. “That’s what happens with this.”
Nurses were left “off their faces” when a patient’s grandad unwittingly gave them a cake laced with cannabis as a ‘thank you’.
Police were called to Warrington Hospital after staff ate the red velvet cake. The grandad wanted to show appreciation for the nurses, but brought in a cake from his grandson’s 18th birthday, unaware that cannabis had been added to the ingredients.
The hospital initially denied that anyone had consumed the cake but after cops confirmed it was eaten on the premises it admitted “one member of staff” tried it but “did not experience any effects”.
However a member of staff, who asked not to be identified, claimed that “three or four” nurses ate the cake and were left “off their faces”.
The member of staff said: “They were eating the cake and then the next minute the staff were all off their faces. It was brought in by a nice old man as a thank you, but it was full of funny stuff and had them all relaxed. There was no impact on the patients whatsoever, but they all knew something was wrong, so the police were called in.”
Cheshire Police tested the cake and confirmed it contained cannabis but said that it had been a genuine mistake and did not take any further action.