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U.K. Regulator Says Some Cannabis Products Count as Medicine

2 minute read

A U.K. government regulator says certain cannabis products can be considered medicine, in a big win for the campaign to legalize cannabis use.

The decision from the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) applies to products containing Cannabidiol (CBD), a specially bred variety of cannabis that has extremely low levels of the hallucinogenic drug THC, meaning it does not cause a high but is thought to retain the same health benefits of other forms of cannabis.

The MHRA review found that CBD has a “restoring, correcting or modifying” effect on “physiological functions” when administered to humans, the U.K.’s Independent reports.

“We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are a medicine,” said the MHRA, in a statement to TIME. “Products for therapeutic use must have a medicines’ licence before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK. Products will have to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards to protect public health.”

The government’s review came about as a result of discussions between the MHRA and CBD vaporizer company MediPen, the Independent reports.

“Since our inception we’ve worked hard to obtain our goal of breaking down the negative connotations surrounding cannabis to lead to a reform in the law for medicinal use,” Jordan Owen, MediPen’s managing director, told the Independent. “Now this is finally becoming a reality.”

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Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com