Prof. Mike Barnes has been interested in the medical applications of cannabis since his involvement with GW Pharma in early 2000s and the progression of Sativex to market. He signed off the expert report to the MHRA and this report has been used, with more recent evidence, to establish Sativex now in over 30 countries.
In May 2016 Prof. Barnes was asked by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform to write a report on the evidence for medical cannabis. Cannabis – The Evidence for Medical Use was published in September 2016 by Prof. Mike Barnes and Dr Jennifer Barnes. This report has been influential in progressing the medical cannabis debate in the UK, Channel Islands and Ireland. He has assisted the Irish parliament in that debate through discussion and lectures to Dail Eireann.
On 1st November 2018 the UK Government rescheduled cannabis and it is now legal for specialist doctors to prescribe. Very few have done so (up to December 2019) so much work still to do! He has now lectured widely on the topic and has assisted the End our Pain campaign and is now a Trustee of the United Patients Alliance and CLEAR.
He is the founding Chair of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society and a Director of Maple Tree Medical Cannabis Consultancy, an ethical consultancy supporting organisations in the medical cannabis sector.