The United Kingdom (U.K.) just received its first bulk supply of medical cannabis oil since it legalized medical imports into the nation.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Tilray Inc. successfully imported its first supply after a previous shipment from the Canadian company was confiscated. The company is importing CBD- and THC-based cannabis oil to the U.K. to provide medicine to those who suffer from conditions like epilepsy, pain, chemotherapy side effects and multiple sclerosis. “This allows us to hold a reliable supply in the U.K. so we can avoid having to import on a per-patient basis, shortening the amount of time from prescription to the patient getting the product,” said Catherine Jacobson, Tilray’s vice president of medical and regulatory affairs.
“If access is too difficult, patients will just go to the black market,” she added. “We’ve seen that happen, and it’s really dangerous for patients.”
The first batch of medical cannabis was confiscated in July 2018 when it was taken from a young cannabis patient named Billy Caldwell. He was denied access to his cannabis medicine even though he had permission from the government to consume it.
Tilray is a British Columbia, Canada-based cannabis company that hopes to import five other medical cannabis products into the country by the end of the year. “Any company has to look at all the markets available to them, but we are steadfastly focused on the medical market,” Jacobson said.
The U.K. and many other European countries have been known for being extra tough on cannabis. Recently, however, the U.K. has welcomed its first legal cannabis farm in the country, and even the former Miss U.K. came out as a supporter of cannabis. While medical patients want even more access and advocates are pushing for recreational reform, this is a major step.