FORMER Scottish Secretary David Mundell is urging the government to ease up on the red tape around medicinal cannabis. 

The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP says the sector could be “potentially transformational” for his constituency where one firm has built an 11,000 square metre production facility.

Hilltop Leaf - who recently secured £2m of private investment - believe that the industry could create dozens of jobs for the area.

READ MORE: £2m investment for Scottish cannabis farm

While medicinal cannabis use is growing, the UK currently relies solely on imports.

Mr Mundell told The Herald: “I believe that the industry has huge economic potential, particularly for rural areas, but it faces a lot of regulatory and operational barriers."

“Here’s a multi-billion pound industry and we've got the opportunity to be at forefront of it," he added.

He said the UK and Scottish Governments needed to be “better coordinated and make things more straightforward” for the industry. 

“That comes from being a bit more joined up because everybody and their granny seems to be involved in the application process,” he said, with the Home Office, the NHS, and other bodies all part of the regulatory regime. 

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Mr Mundell also called for the prescribing of medical cannabis to be more straightforward. 

“Although that has been legal now for some time the number of NHS prescriptions is very low,” he said, especially compared to the private healthcare sector.

The Tory claimed there were “various blockages” in the way that the medical system works that were “impeding” the number of NHS prescriptions. 

The Herald:


Hilltop Leaf, which holds a Manufacturers ‘Specials’ Licence and Wholesaler Dealer Authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, aims to produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans.

Ultimately the firm believes it can supply more than 10 per cent of the UK market.

Mr Mundell is to raise the economic contribution of medicinal cannabis during a Commons debate today.