Hanway Associates at the Conservative Party and Cannabis Invest UK conferences

Hanway Associates CEO George McBride spoke at the Conservative Party Conference and Cannabis Invest UK this week on developments in the UK and European Cannabis industry.

Hanway Associates at Conservative Party Conference:

The CEO of Hanway Associates urged the government to expand access to cannabis-based medicines for patients and to legalise recreational use in the UK at the Conservative Party Conference this week.

Speaking at the packed conference event, Hanway Associates’ George McBride welcomed the rescheduling of cannabis-based medicines in the UK, but warned the that the proposed system will continue to deny patients access to potentially life-changing medicine.


George McBride said
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“The government’s action on medical cannabis is a welcome improvement on decades of cannabis policy-making that has been anti-evidence, anti-science, and anti-health.

“Unfortunately for the hundreds of thousands of UK patients who would stand to benefit from access to legal, tested and standardised cannabis-based medicines, the current proposals don’t go nearly far enough.

“Prohibiting GPs from prescribing medical cannabis is a huge blow to patients’ rights, which will only perpetuate people’s consumption of black-market cannabis for relief.”

McBride spoke at the Conservative party fringe event hosted by the Adam Smith Institute on Sunday alongside Crispin Blunt MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Law Reform, and George Freeman MP, former Life Sciences Minister.

In his speech, he urged party activists to follow the lead of Canada and the growing number of US states to provide legal, regulated access to cannabis for recreational use in the UK.

McBride said:

“Calls from the left to decriminalise cannabis leave supply and profit in the hands of criminal organisations, provide no product standards or protection for consumers and no tax revenue for the state.

“If the Conservatives are truly the party of personal responsibility, free markets and consumer choice, they should look to the fastest-growing industry in North America for inspiration and legalise cannabis for recreational use.

“Canada’s imminent legalisation of cannabis - on the explicit premise of reducing youth use and protecting public health - is proof that a legal, fully-regulated industry can mitigate harms from cannabis use while treating users as informed adults rather than criminals.”

Cannabis Invest UK:

George also appeared at Cannabis Invest UK in London this Tuesday, alongside leading Canadian cannabis figures including Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth, Cam Battley, COO of Aurora Cannabis, Michael Gorenstein from the Cronos Group and Sebastien St Louis of HEXO Corp.

On a panel with Jonathan Deverill of DAC Beachcroft LLP and Danny Fryer, Head of European Operations at MPX Pharmaceuticals, George highlighted the strong long-term prospects of the European cannabis industry alongside the immediate challenges in accessing the market.

Stressing the need for firms to develop specific European market strategies and partner with knowledgeable locals, he cited the regulatory differences to operating in Europe and differences in consumer behaviour between Europe and North America as evidence that companies who seek to simply replicate cannabis business models from across the Atlantic are unlikely to make much headway in Europe.

The medical cannabis industry across Europe is predicted to reach over EUR 55 billion in the next decade, with a UK medical market valued at a potential EUR 8.8bn by 2028. With Canada set to legalize recreational cannabis on October 17th, the total global Cannabis market is projected to reach $31.4 billion in 2012, at a CAGR of 60%. These forecasts are from The European Cannabis Report™.

First Wednesdays:

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George and the Hanway Associates team are headed to First Wednesdays this evening, a new networking event Hanway Associates host for those working in and around medical cannabis. If you have invest in or work in this space, please do register to attend and we look forward to seeing you there!