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[Correspondence] New ACMD regulations threaten UK’s pharmaceutical discovery

In December, 2016, the UK Government, on the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), made two problematic changes to the UK drug control regulations of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. First, they put into effect new very wide-ranging bans against a whole range of synthetic cannabinoids. Second, they rejected an appeal by senior UK scientists to remove tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) from Schedule 1—the highest level of control—of the Act. THCV is a chemical found in the cannabis plant that UK scientists have identified as a potential therapeutic: keeping it in Schedule 1 severely impedes their research of THCV in the UK.