A new cannabis lobby group has formed in the European Union, marking the industry’s latest charge towards corporate respectability and legitimate business interests.

The European Alliance for Medicinal Cannabis (EAMC) is a Brussels-based, industry-led organisation representing medical cannabis licensed producers across the European Union.

The EAMC hosted an event at the recent Cannabis Europa conference in Madrid to mark its entry to the market.

The agency said its ambition is to “bring the cannabis industry together under one umbrella organisation and advocate in favour of a harmonised regulatory framework on medicinal cannabis at EU level”.

It will lever its extensive network connections within the EU institutions and Member States to lobby on behalf of cannabis firms, as the bloc begins to formulate new laws to cover medicinal cannabis.

“Ultimately, such a framework would enable the industry to thrive under a clear and well-regulated market,”: the group said.

Helene Moore (EAMC board member and Director General of Aurora France), has said the current challenges faced by the medicinal cannabis industry include standard compliance, regulatory fragmentation and lack of sufficient public funded research on medicinal cannabis.

In order to contribute concretely in shaping future EU policies, EAMC is currently working with its members on a medicinal cannabis manifesto, which will identify regulatory solutions that could be implemented by European policymakers.

“Interest in medicinal cannabis is gaining ground throughout the European Union,” said  James O’Dowd, EAMC Secretary General. “Society, policymakers, patients and scientific institutions are acknowledging the need for a well-regulated medicinal cannabis market in the EU. It is of upmost importance to harmonise the regulatory framework at European level to ensure patients’ fair access to medicinal cannabis and to maintain the integrity of the single market as more EU Member States adopt access programmes”.

Given the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the EAMC will be representing firms whose interests are not necessarily aligned with those from Britain, which  should make the treatment of third-countries in any forthcoming regulatory guidance interesting.