Inside the facility set to be Scotland’s first medicinal cannabis farm
Thursday 20 May 2021, 3:53pm
ITV News Border has been given access to what looks set to be Scotland’s first medicinal cannabis farm.
An 11,000 square meter greenhouse has been constructed at a secret location within Dumfries & Galloway.
Owners of Hilltop Leaf, the company behind the facility, believe they are also on track to be the first in the UK to produce a prescription product for the domestic market.
At the moment, patients with medicinal cannabis prescriptions have to wait for the product to be imported from counties like Holland.
Since the use of medicinal cannabis was legalised in 2018, patients have reported difficulties getting hold of the drug.
It remains highly unlikely to be prescribed on the NHS, forcing patients to use private health services.
Hilltop Leaf CEO, Hamish Clegg said: “Right now there are around 5,000 patients in the UK market who are all reliant on imported products, from Canada, Israel, Holland particularly.
At the moment there is no domestic offering, being able to produce these products in this country, will make the supply chain somewhat easier.Hilltop Leaf CEO, Hamish Clegg
“What we have here will be something that will have UK standards under MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] to meet our own regulation and people will be able to be confident that what they’re getting meets the UK health standards that we expect from all pharmaceutical products that we use in this country.”
When at full capacity, it’s hoped the facility will be able to produce 16 tons of medicinal cannabis every year. For context, that’s currently enough to satisfy the entire German market. But the industry is growing fast.
One estimate puts the UK sector at more than £2.3 billion pounds by 2024. Later this year Hilltop Leaf will submit a licensing application to the UK Home Office. They hope to be growing their first commercial product later this year.