UK To Open Its First Medical Marijuana Research Facility To The Public

Snaps for science and reducing stigmas.

By opening its first-ever publicly available cannabis research facility, MediPenLtd, the United Kingdom is officially paving the way for medical cannabis breakthroughs. According to The Independent, the facility opens this summer and will allow both individuals and companies to conduct medical cannabis research with the use of its research and development network, testing laboratory, and board for legal and business advice. 

The company has already established success in the medical cannabis community with its non-psychoactive CBD vaporizers that combine cannabinoid extracts with coconut oil. The company is currently working on securing a license from the British Home Office to continue researching the use controlled compounds, like THC, in minimizing the negative side effects of chemotherapy.

"As it stands, there is a significant amount of scientific data available detailing the powerful effects of cannabinoids within cell culture systems and in vivo," a MediPen representative told The Independent. "However, we plan to be amongst the first in the world to begin clinical trials on humans."

Previously, the MediPen’s vaporizer was the first cannabis product to be tested by Britain’s National Health Service, which many saw as an important step towards improving the public perception of cannabis. 

“As the UK's industry leading consumer cannabis biotechnology company, we're excited to have set a new benchmark in providing a much-needed sense of legitimacy to the UK's rapidly growing legal cannabis industry,” Jordan Owen, MediPen managing director, told The Independent in 2016.

Currently, it is illegal to possess, grow, or distribute cannabis in the UK. Medical marijuana is legal, but getting your hands on medical relief is costly and difficult. MediPen’s research, paired with backing from the NHS and discoveries made through their new research center, may eventually prove to be one of the driving forces behind Britain’s marijuana law reform.