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Report on how a regulated cannabis market would work

by jamesbaker on 8 March, 2016

The most comprehensive framework for how a regulated cannabis market could work in the UK has been published today by an independent panel of experts set up by the Liberal Democrats.

This groundbreaking report sets out how the legal production and supply of cannabis could work in the UK. It was established in the autumn by Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Norman Lamb MP. The expert panel was chaired by Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst from Transform Drug Policy Foundation.

The report proposes:

  • Allowing the sale of cannabis to over 18s from specialist, licensed retail stores. It also proposes allowing home-cultivation for personal use and small scale licensed cannabis social clubs.

  • A new regulator to oversee the market

  • Regulation around the price, potency and packaging of cannabis available from retailers, with policy informed by evidence and best practice in tobacco and alcohol regulation.

  • Single purpose outlets to sell cannabis modelled on pharmacies.

  • Cannabis would be sold over the counter by trained and licensed vendors, in plain packaging with clear health and risk reduction information.

The report states there is potential for significant government revenue from taxation – credible estimates suggest up to £1 billion per year could be raised. The panel recommends cannabis should be taxed in line with its potency.

The report argues that the health risks associated with the use of cannabis are more effectively managed and minimised through a responsibly regulated market and public health interventions rather than an unregulated criminal market and punitive criminal justice response.

The full report can be read here.

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