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Jamaican researchers to headline Global Medical Cannabis Research Symposium in London

Published:Wednesday | September 18, 2019 | 10:12 AM
Professor Henry Lowe (left) and Professor Errol Morrison - File photo.

Two of Jamaica’s leading medical cannabis researchers, Professor Henry Lowe and Professor Errol Morrison, will headline day one of the Global Medical Cannabis Research Symposium in London.

The conference runs from September 18 to 19.

The Symposium was borne out of a partnership between the UK Centre for Medicinal Cannabis and the Jamaican Medical Cannabis Corporation. 

Both distinguished fellows will be among other medical researchers and clinicians from around the globe and will share their own research experience and Jamaica’s history with medicinal cannabis with their UK peers.

Lowe, a medical cannabis pioneer and Chief Executive Officer of Medicanja, was asked to share key findings from current research during a session titled: Clinical Trials for AML and Pancreatic Cancer.

He will discuss his cannabis-based FDA-approved “orphan drug” for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Having been so designated in 2017, the US Orphan Drug Act provides for the granting of special status to a drug or biological product to treat a rare disease or condition upon the request of a sponsor.

Meanwhile, Lowe will be preceded at the symposium by Morrison, Director General of the Jamaican National Commission of Science and Technology.

Morrison will set the stage with “A Short History of the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis.”

The presentation will highlight ancient cannabis uses in China, India, Africa, up to traditional medicine and contemporary research in Jamaica.

While in London, Morrison will also present a copy of his autobiography, ‘Growing Tall…Pursuing Excellence,’to the Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Seth George Ramocan.

Observers have underscored the timeliness of the event given the recent releases of the National Health Service (NHS) England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reviews called for the need for more evidence to support the prescribing of medicinal cannabis via the NHS. 

Noting the significance of researchers from around the globe converging in London for this exchange of knowledge and experiences, the Jamaican Medical Cannabis Corporation Group’s Chair and CEO, Diane Scott, said she hoped the symposium would encourage more international collaboration in this area. 

“We’ve been fortunate in our travels to hear quite a bit about the many exciting medical cannabis research projects now in progress around the world, a few of which JMCC is supporting in different ways. So, we’re very pleased to help bring the researchers involved in a sample of these projects to London to discuss their work with members of the UK medical research community,” Scott said. 

And according to UK Centre for Medicinal Cannabis’ Founder and Director Steve Moore, “the lack of evidence-based knowledge surrounding cannabis-based medicinal products is one of the key blocking factors as to why doctors in the UK are not prescribing despite recent law changes. The goal is to encourage more UK- based research.” 

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