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Reflections on 2023 and beyond

Reflections on 2023 and beyond

By Dr Callie Seaman and Jamie Bartley, Cannabis Industry Council Co-Chairs

As we gather together to celebrate the warmth of the holiday season, we extend our heartfelt greetings to each and every one of you. It’s been a strong year for our Council, marked by notable achievements and positive strides in our ongoing quest for cannabis advocacy, research, and responsible usage.

Stepping into the role of Co-Chairs in April was an honour and a privilege. We were entrusted with the legacy of the esteemed Prof. Mike Barnes, and we’re immensely proud of the strides we’ve taken collectively in furthering the Council’s mission. The support and dedication of each member have been pivotal in navigating this journey, and we are deeply grateful for your unwavering commitment.

Reflecting on the past 12 months, our collaboration with The University of York University and Drug Science on a Health Economics Study stands as a beacon of our commitment to pioneering research. This partnership has illuminated crucial insights into the economic impact of cannabis in healthcare, laying the foundation for evidence-based policies.

Furthermore, our eagerly anticipated paper on Driving and Prescription Cannabis addresses critical concerns and proposes guidelines for safe and responsible usage of cannabis in relation to driving and prescriptions.

Moreover, this year heralded the launch of our influential campaign advocating for a significant change – allowing GPs to initiate cannabis medicine prescriptions, not solely specialist consultants. This initiative aims to empower GPs to contribute their expertise in prescribing this alternative treatment, thereby ensuring wider patient access and enhanced healthcare options.

We’ve continued advocating for a more coherent, evidence-based regulatory framework for Industrial Hemp and consumer CBD products. The APPG for Industrial Hemp & CBD Products, with CIC membership, is pushing for regulatory reform. Simultaneously, the Centre for High Carbon Capture Cropping (CHCx3) research project is committed to establishing hemp as a viable, sustainable choice for agriculture and construction.

Throughout the year, our Council has witnessed exponential growth and accomplished numerous milestones, thanks to the collective effort and vision of our members. From fostering partnerships with industry leaders to advocating for informed policies, every achievement signifies a step forward in shaping a responsible, innovative, and inclusive cannabis industry.

As we approach the festive season, let us carry the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and responsible stewardship into the New Year. May this holiday season bring joy, warmth, and renewed inspiration to continue our journey toward a brighter and more informed cannabis landscape.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year ahead!

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