Sir Mike Penning, co-chairman of the cross-party parliamentary group on Medical Cannabis Under Prescription, welcomed the move but said there had been a “disappointing reaction” from many health professionals so far.
“This formal announcement makes this a momentous day and I commend the Home Secretary for taking these bold and decisive steps,” he said.
“It has reversed decades of backward thinking on this important issue by successive governments. There is still much detailed work to be done.
“Since the high-profile cases of the summer involving the young children with epilepsy there has been a very disappointing reaction from a large number of consultants and health trusts, with many refusing to even submit applications to the interim medical cannabis expert panel.
“Today’s announcement puts the ball now firmly in the court of the health professionals and health authorities to approach this new and exciting field of UK medicine with an open mind.”