EPISODE #26 Medical Cannabis in the UK with Hari Guliani, COO of Grow Biotech

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This week, we warmly welcome Hari Guliani, COO at Grow Biotech to the show! Together, we examine the current state of the medical cannabis market within the UK. We discuss the current laws and regulations governing medical cannabis, availability, access to medicine, and hopes for the future. 

Episode Summary

  • Medical cannabis was legalised last November in the UK by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary with the aim to give more UK patients access to cannabis-based medicines. Although technically legal, only a small number of patients have access as it is only prescribed privately and only by specialist consultants who can only prescribe when they see no other options available.

  • Many patients in the UK are incredibly frustrated due to the lack of access, especially since it is not currently supported by the NHS who are concerned with the lack of supporting evidence and the cost of purchase. 

  • In August 2019, NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) published its draft recommendations on the use of cannabis-based medicinal products following a comprehensive evaluation of their clinical and cost-effectiveness. The review highlighted the lack of evidence about the long term safety and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.

  • The draft guidance did not recommend Sativex for treating spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis because it was found to be not cost-effective at its current list price in relation to the benefits it provides, although it has been licensed in the UK to treat this problem.

  • If we want to see the widespread adoption of medical cannabis based products within the UK, we need to see the collection of clinical data. This will happen as doctors become more comfortable and informed about cannabis. 

  • Because of the rapid expansion of cannabis markets, (recreational and medical), products are often becoming unavailable and cannot be bought consistently. This poses a problem for the UK medical cannabis market as medical drugs need to be readily available if patients are relying on them. 

  • Hari is a former corporate finance lawyer & strategy & operations consultant with experience across a wide range of sectors. He left law behind to work across startups within crisis management and consultancy before being inspired by Tom Gray (founder of Blume Jobs) to join the cannabis industry.  


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