London law firm announces cannabis department open for business

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By Thomas Connelly on

Growth industry?

A London law firm is looking to tap into the highly lucrative legal weed scene through the launch of what is understood to be the UK’s first dedicated cannabis law department.

Unveiling its brand new weed wing, Mackrell Turner Garrett said it’s looking to follow in the footsteps of law firms over in the US who have reportedly hit the jackpot by focusing on the needs of the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

The West London outfit’s decision to branch out is the brainchild of Robert Jappie, a senior associate at the firm who has a strong interest in drug policy reform due to his previous experience in criminal defence work. Now the firm’s head of cannabis law, Jappie said:

“Despite the UK being one of the biggest producers and worldwide exporters of cannabis, it was still prohibited medicinally and recreationally (at that time). However, the investigations revealed that there was a burgeoning CBD industry already in existence in the UK and that positive noises were coming out of the industry regarding medicinal cannabis.”

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While it remains illegal for recreational use in the UK, a recent change in the law allows doctors to prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products in limited circumstances. Cannabis oil (CBD), however, is legal, provided it doesn’t contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis which remains a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

This tentative step towards the legalisation has led to some rather interesting products hitting our shelves, including this CBD-based hummus which is currently available at a supermarket in yes, you guessed it, Shoreditch, East London.

The City’s big players are taking the weed sector seriously, too. Last month, magic circle player Allen & Overy launched a cannabis newsletter, promising prospective clients “a practitioner insight on the legal and regulatory developments in the Cannabis sector worldwide.”

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