Unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) may only be imported to meet the special clinical need of individual patients. It is not currently possible to import bulk quantities of these products. This restriction forms part of the checks and balances that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs asked the Government to put in place when rescheduling CBPMs to minimise the risk of misuse and diversion.
The Medicines and Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency has received 242 notifications for the importation of unlicensed CBPMs from specialist importers in the past 12 months.
Unlicensed medicines, including CBPMs are not assessed by the MHRA for quality, safety and efficacy, but must be notified to the MHRA prior to import and meet basic production standards.
Importers registered with the MHRA can import active pharmaceutical ingredients where intended for the production of a medicinal product for use in humans.