A Celebration of Scotland’s Indigenous Apothecary 

20th 22nd February 2022 


A three-day celebration of plant medicine in Scotland, encompassing cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms, as well as other healing plants indigenous to the Scottish land. We will be collaborating with the Scottish Cannabis consortium, the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish Psychedelic Research Group, the University of the West of Scotland, and many other organisations involved in both plant medicine and drug policy reform in Scotland.  

Importantly this event will be linked to the Scottish Cross Party on Medicinal Cannabis (Co-conveners Rona McKay and Pauline McNeil, and Deputy Convener Oliver Mundell) who will be involved in creating events and discussions within the Scottish Parliament. The CPG recently supported a debate in Parliament on the prescribing of medical cannabis, and this event will further this discussion.   

Each day will explore different aspects of plant medicine in Scotland, weaving our three strands:  

  • community building,  
  • research and education, and 
  • policy development  

Underpinning and connecting these three strands is the concept of ethics, and how we move towards an integration of plant medicine into our health system and wider social environment with care 

Monday 20th February: Indigenous Apothecary: Stories of healing and thanks  



Time: 1-6pm  

Place: Please contact info@sprg.org  for more information 

Thank you Plant medicine, a day of celebrating the healing potential of indigenous plant medicine, Amanita, nettle, mistletoe, and psilocybin.  

This is a unique opportunity for our Scottish indigenous healing community to come together and celebrate in a safe and held space (current laws create an environment where we may feel marginalised, stigmatised and criminalised; we hope to create a space where vulnerability is accepted and shared).  

To allow for free and open dialogue this is an event for people who feel safe and willing to talk about their own experiences. We will have other opportunities over the following two days for observers.  

This event is interactive so please don’t come if you are not willing or able to share your story.  

All conversations will be governed by the principles of ‘respectful dialogue’ (see: https://www.sdpc.org.uk/commitment-to-respectful-dialogue/) and Chatham House Rules. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/indigenous-apothecary-stories-of-healing-and-gratitude-tickets-512137365647 

Tuesday 21st February: The Scottish Cannabis Symposium  

Time: 1-5pm  

Place: Please contact info@sprg.org with your name and interest in cannabis in Scotland, and we will send you more details. 



Cannabis has been cultivated in Scotland for centuries, and was once a staple medicine in every doctors and herbalists apothecary. Due to the legal barriers set up in the 1960’s and 70’s however, cannabis and hemp were lost to us as a medicine and material, until recently. Increased understanding of the power of cannabis as a medicine has resulted in countries around the world implementing legal medicinal and Adult Use regulatory systems, in addition to the other uses the plant has in addressing manyv of our sustainability problems. 

The half day event will bring stakeholders together to connect, share knowledge, have respectful dialogue and importantly envision the future of cannabis in Scotland, both within the UK, and as a potential independent country with the power to write our own drug laws. There will food, networking, opportunities for knowledge sharing in small groups, and a patient panel  to highlight the power of cannabis as a plant medicine, and the barriers to accessing this medicine. 

22nd February: Psychedelics in Scotland: Ethical policies and practice 



This will consist of two separate events, connected by a walk. You are welcome to attend either separately and both.  

Event #1 – : Plant medicine: recovering the sacred the ethics of healing,  justice, and equity community event looking at the healing power of medicine in relation to trauma and recovery 

Time 3-5pm  

Place: please contact info@sprg.org or more information 

This will be a community panel event where we will here from a range of speakers involved in plant medicine at both a community and research level.  

The panel will be chaired by the SPRG Board member Dr. Ailsa Snaith. Ailsa is a scientist and former NHS doctor. Having graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1997 with a degree in Neuroscience, she completed her PhD in 2000 at the University of Cambridge, where her thesis explored the impact of glycogen metabolism on the outcome of stroke and brain injury. Following postdoctoral research at GlaxoSmithKline, Ailsa began to focus on Evidence Based Medicine, first as a systematic reviewer on NICE Guidelines and subsequently as an Evidence Based Medicine Manager for Mental Health with Pfizer. Ailsa then completed her Medicine degree at the University of Aberdeen in 2009, whilst also working part-time as a systematic reviewer on clinical guidelines and health technology assessments. After graduating, she trained as a hospital doctor in Oxford, completing an Academic Clinical Fellowship with research on gastrointestinal cancer. More recently, Ailsa has travelled abroad for six years with her military husband, first to the Middle East and subsequently to Cyprus, during which time her focus returned to current mental health strategies and an interest in the potential benefits of psychedelics. Latterly, she has been working with military veterans in crisis with Icarus Charity and has started collaborating in creative projects; it is through this work that her passion for facilitating access to psychedelics has grown and led to her embarking on a Psychology Masters with the University of Highlands and Islands. Ailsa’s belief is that a country may be judged by the services available for those most in need; her vision is to set up a research and therapy centre in the Highlands devoted to creating a nature-based space for recovery and ongoing safety net for those with addictions or suicidality. 

Professor Jo Neal is Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Manchester. She is Chair of the Medical Psychedelics Working Group at Drug Science, a Trustee for Heroic Hearts UK, scientific advisor for the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group, Beckley Psytech, Albert Labs, and Octarine Bio. Jo is an advisory board member of the International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative. She is co-founder of b-neuro, a University based Contract Research Organisation developing new treatments for mental illness through animal models and past President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (President 2016-2018). She served on the Research Excellence Framework panel for Unit of Assessment 3 (Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy) in 2014. Jo is working with Policy at Manchester and Drug Science to educate the public about the urgent need for drug law reform and suspension of Schedule 1 restrictions to enable research into the medicinal properties of currently illegal drugs.  

Rory Lamont was a professional international Rugby Union player who played for Glasgow Warriors, Sale Sharks, Toulon in France and Scotland. While representing Scotland in the 2012 Six Nations tournament he suffered a career ending leg break. The injury was followed by a debilitating health crisis which derailed his life and vitality and lead Rory to seek alternative healing protocols when mainstream medicine failed to assist. Rory is a licensed HeartMath coach, IAKP Kambo practitioner, Men’s circle facilitator and Human Biology and Sports Science graduate. In 2014, motivated by the collapse of his physical and mental health, Rory travelled to Central and South America where he experienced the transformational healing power of the plant medicines Iboga and Ayahuasca which lead to an epochal shift in his self-awareness. With a new blueprint for navigating the challenges in his life, Rory experienced a rapid improvement in his wellbeing. Over the last few years, Rory has dedicated his life to expanding his knowledge on natural healing, gathering techniques, powerful knowledge and wisdom which he now utilises to assist others on their own journey to health regeneration at his retreat centre CAIM in Highland Perthshire. He considers psychedelic plant medicines to be one of the most powerful healing modalities available for resolving the current health crisis the world is facing. 

Karen Llewelyn is an active member of Scottish Families Campaign For Change and Recovering Justice . She and her husband Chris have supported their two sons for the last ten years with mental health and substance use issues. Both young men have experienced drug induced psychoses and the harm that state ‘care’ can cause when they have been in crisis, be it through police intervention, hospitalisation or imprisonment. All assistance of note for this family has come from the third sector and peer support. To address her own trauma Karen attended a psychedelic retreat and has become convinced that this is the route which mental health care must explore . 

Dr Mourad Wahba is a Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry currently working in Newcastle within the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust (CNTW). Mourad has a keen interest in psychedelic therapy and has worked as a sub-investigator on the psilocybin for treatment resistant depression trial that recently concluded. He is part of a small team working in Newcastle that aims to facilitate the delivery of psychedelic therapy within the region, both through hosting research trials and delivering teaching sessions on psychedelics and their potential applications. 

Pat – community healer and recovery advocate  

We will conclude with a facilitated discussion on the ethics of psychedelic assisted treatment, and the broader community of practice, and  finish off with some food.  

Those attending the Scottish Parliament event will then walk to the Scottish Parliament in time for the second event at 6pm. 

Event #2 – Psychedelics in Scotland: Policy and Practice 

Time 6-8pm  

Place: The Scottish Parliament, Hollyrood Room  

This will be a panel event, sponsored by Pauline McNeil MSP’, looking at how we implement policies around psychedelics in Scotland, with a particular focus on psychedelic assisted therapy and ethical considerations. There will be a Q&A’s and buffet following the panel.