Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

The UK’s First Licensed Cannabis Dispensary.

with 6 comments

Mike Dobson

Mike Dobson

When Mike Dobson first called me a few months ago and told me he had an idea for gaining legal access to cannabis in the UK, I was, of course, sceptical. CLEAR has frequently been approached with hare-brained and convoluted plans for avoiding the law that prohibits cannabis.  Without exception they have all been bonkers.

Within a few minutes though, I could see this one was different.  In the past, most of these ideas have been around sidestepping the law by claiming ‘freeman’ status, the suggestion being that statutes, laws made by Parliament, are only enforceable if you have consented to them in the first place.  Some claim to have succeeded in using this to defeat charges for growing cannabis, even having their harvest returned to them by police.  I can’t verify any of these stories but I’m quite sure the courts are littered with the broken dreams and delusions of those who have tried to go down this path.

The big difference with Mike’s plan, his ‘scheme’ as I like to call it, is that instead of evading, avoiding or dodging the law, it actually uses the law itself to provide legal rights to grow and possess cannabis.

Preston Cannabis Club Website.  Click To Enter.

Preston Cannabis Club Website. Click To Enter.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 empowers the Home Secretary to issue licences in respect of cannabis. These could be for cultivation, production, possession, supply or any other activity such as import or export.

This scheme involves setting up a company to cultivate cannabis and produce cannabis products under licence from the Home Office – the ‘Licensed Supplier’. Providing the various licence conditions are complied with, the Home Office cannot unreasonably refuse such a licence.  If it does then it will be subject to judicial review.  The licence conditions that need to be met are security and the prevention of ‘diversion’ of the cannabis into illicit or unlicensed hands.

The next step is to set up another company where it and its shareholders, guarantors and/or members are licensed to possess cannabis – the ‘Membership Company’.  Again, providing the licence conditions are complied with, the Home Office must issue a licence and if it refuses judicial review proceedings can be brought.  Sensible and responsible rules must be put in place so that members only consume cannabis in private with necessary security precautions.

The genius of Mike’s scheme, now coming to reality with the first Membership Company, the Preston Cannabis Club, is that it uses the law exactly as it is intended, to ensure that the only people cultivating, producing, supplying or possessing cannabis are licensed to do so.

I have consulted informally with several lawyers and there is no doubt that this scheme holds promise. Whether it works out remains to be seen.  CLEAR is putting its weight and support right behind the scheme as a responsible and lawful way to enable legal access to cannabis.  I would expect initial resistance from the authorities but if we are right, it would mean Parliament would have to pass a new law to prevent this happening.  In my judgement that is unlikely and, in fact, the demonstration of such a legitimate route to cannabis would get the government off the hook of its present, unsustainable policy.

Watch this space.  CLEAR is now actively involved in supporting this venture and we will keep you fully informed.

6 Responses

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  1. Very interesting.
    If people wish to enter into legal proceedings to obtain a licence to cultivate a God given plant which is essential to our health and wellbeing, fine. I’m intrigued to see how this unfolds.
    The Rule of Law, Common Law predates all the treasonous ACTs of legislation that Governments attempt to ENFORCE.
    How we wish to interact and respond/react to the treasonous and criminal acts of UKGov.PLC and her agents is up to the individual.
    Cannabis is an unstoppable force and no legislation has ever, nor will it ever deter or stop me from growing and utilising Cannabis.

    Free Cannabis

    December 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

  2. Such legislations have prevented me from cultivating my own for the past decade, under duress, threat, fear of another gang of state-sponsored thugs breaking into my house, bounding me in shackles, stealing my medicine, causing more traumatic stress, threatening to incarcerate me for years. Surely that’s not only unethical, but unlawful too. I dearly wish to see those who’ve supported such acts to be held accountable to the law, and to let people like me live our lives with the help of the only thing that has ever helped. Cannabis saved my life, and it is an atrocity to prevent anyone in such circumstances access to it.

    I love the idea of finding a way to let people access to this most important of panacea therapeutic herbs. I signed (and I hope you do too, even though it’s just for CBD sales), but this club membership model inspires even more hope.


    December 11, 2016 at 2:38 am

  3. How is this going to fly when the MHRA has just banned the sale of CBD because they recognize it has a medical use and want it now sold only through their chosen manufactures. The most expensive drug on the NHS that contain CBD is off limits to patients who require it because despite it being understood that it has a medicinal affect it’s classed as being too expensive. Also there already is a licensed grower in the UK who so happens to own the rights to the drug that’s so damn expensive, gw pharmaceuticals. The drugs is called Sativex in the UK and is THC and CBD. gw pharmaceuticals now holds the money. It’s good for standardization but terrible because no one can access it unless you have lots of money for private prescriptions. So how is this guy any different than gw, and gw have way more cash behind them!


    January 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      • Ah ok I see. Thanks for the clarification. I’m only not beginning to learn about all of this. But does this mean that your friend here is going to compete with GW? It would be useful for the costs of these medicines to come down, significantly, that way it eliminates the argument that it’s too expensive through the NHS.

        What I’m confused about most is the cyclical argument of all of this, many medications that are used instead of CBD & THC cause permanent damage to patients if used for a period of time. And yet they’re often given to patients for chronic conditions, not acute and therefore cause complications that lead to more health issues. I could go on, you obviously know far more than I do on this subject. This subject is however shocking to me. I’ve not been someone to participate in recreational drug use and therefore probably slow to come around to the idea. And, yet I see people I know and love suffering at the hands of these rather draconian rulings. I can’t help but understand that someone may seek out these drugs illegally, despite the risks associated. I’m in now way condoning the use, illegally.

        The US beats us to it, again; if nothing else the British public should at least find themselves curious to know how it could be.

        Thanks for the response, I’ll continue to read from your blog and other sources.


        January 10, 2017 at 12:41 am

  4. […] Source: The UK’s First Licensed Cannabis Dispensary. […]

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