A Sunday newspaper says a Scottish council has staged initial discussions with an Australian firm about building a facility to produce medicinal cannabis.
Australian firm LeafCann is said to be discussing the plan with North Ayrshire Council, with a view to launch a base in Irvine - although the council has said “there is nothing imminent or close to being agreed”.
However the exploratory move has been welcomed by Scottish Labour health spokesperon Monica Lennon, who said news of the talks was “encouraging” and could lead to improved availability of medicinal cannabis through the NHS.
While cannabis-based medicines have been legalised it has been illegal to cultivate cannabis in the UK, and the NHS supplies are imported.
However in what has been sees as a test case a facility in Wiltshire gained planning permission, creating an apparent breakthrough for UK-based cultivation for medicinal purposes.
When produced in this way the drug lacks the active ingredient which produces intoxication - as in the illegal “cannabis farms” regularly uncovered by police.
In a highly-publicised recent case a Scots mum smuggled a cannabis product into Scotland from the Netherlands to help her epileptic son, and is said to have spent thousands of pounds ensuring he has a sufficient supply to alleviate his condition.