FILE - In this April 5, 2017 file photo, is Matthew Miller of Millerville Farms looking over a marijuana plant in Cave Junction, Ore. Oregon will require cultivators growing outdoor marijuana for general use to notify the state when they plan to harvest. AfriAg Global Plc has hired a law firm to help with the application process to become a licensed medical cannabis cultivator and producer in the UK. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)
JOHANNESBURG - AfriAg Global Plc has hired a law firm to help with the application process to become a licensed medical cannabis cultivator and producer in the UK, the South African haulier said on Monday.

Britain proposed in July to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis starting this year and several countries, including Germany, Italy and Denmark, already allow the prescription of medicinal cannabis and Canada recently became the second country in the world to fully legalise marijuana.

The decision in Britain followed the high-profile case of a 12-year-old boy with severe epilepsy who was denied access to cannabis oil, prompting a national debate and reviews by experts. Recreational use of cannabis is still prohibited in the country.

Evidence is growing that medical Marijuana can help with epilepsy and other conditions, such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and chemotherapy-induced nausea.

The UK was the main producer and exporter of cannabis-based medicines in 2016, according to a report by the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board.

AfriAg, which supplies supermarkets and wholesalers with fresh African fruit, said the “highly regulated” application process would take some time and it might bring in other partners to assist with the process.

“The board see a huge opportunity here for AfriAg Global to help the UK increase its global market presence in this ... fast-growing sector,” Executive Chairman David Lenigas said.

- REUTERS