Volteface and The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society (MCCS) have today been appointed as the new secretariat for the UK’s medical cannabis All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).
APPGs are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament, but seek to unite groups of MPs and peers to discuss topics of interest, hold inquiries and publish reports. The medical cannabis APPG states it aims to “secure appropriate access to medical cannabis on the NHS in its various forms including full plant extract containing both CBD and THC in formulations produced to a consistent high quality pharmaceutical grade and manufactured to GMP standard.”
Since the legalisation of medical cannabis in 2018, there have been significant barriers that have hindered progress in the prescribing of cannabis.
To tackle these barriers, the new secretariat says it will focus on; raising awareness amongst the British public that medical cannabis is available on prescription, expanding prescribing to include GPs, increasing the number of prescribing clinicians and addressing their hesitancies, dealing with competition from the illicit market, address stigma among the British public, and highlight the challenges parents face with accessing cannabis for children with serious medical conditions.
Tonia Antoniazzi, Labour MP and co-chair of the APPG for medical cannabis welcomed the appointment of the new secretariat. “As co-chair of the APPG I’m delighted to welcome Volteface and The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society as the new secretariat of the group. Volteface and the MCCS have a wide range of expertise which will be extremely valuable moving forward.”
Volteface and the MCCS work closely with clinicians and companies in the medical cannabis industry. In a press release sent to leafie, the organisations stated a desire to collaborate closely with patient groups to ensure patient needs are addressed. They also aim to position the industry appropriately within parliament and ensure it has a voice to raise pertinent issues around the sustained development of the sector.
Katya Kowalski, Head of Operations of Volteface said: “I’m thrilled to be working with the APPG and the MCCS to advance the conversation around medical cannabis in parliament.
“Working in the sector it has been so frustrating to see the dialogue stagnate politically. There is still so much that needs to be done, particularly around effectively communicating the state of play to policy makers to raise awareness about the legality and accessibility of this medicine. There are a multitude of issues that need to be addressed for the sector to thrive and for patients to be tended to, and I look forward to advancing this through our role within the APPG.”