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Dedicated to developing a robust and ethical medical cannabis industry in the post-Brexit landscape,  as a Director of Maple Tree Consultants, Prof. Barnes' extensive clinical and sector knowledge allows him to support businesses establishing, growing and exiting this exciting emerging market. With a global reach and extensive experience, Prof. Barnes's unrivalled expertise is trusted by organisations worldwide. Alongside fellow Director Hannah Deacon, ​Prof. Barnes provides expert consultancy for leading organisations in the medical cannabis and CBD wellness sectors through Maple Tree. 


His 2016 report - Cannabis - The Evidence for Medical Use, became a hugely influential work, credited with progressing the medical cannabis debate in the UK, Channel Islands and Ireland.  Ultimately, on 1 November 2018, the UK Government rescheduled cannabis, and it became legal for specialist doctors to prescribe. Earlier that year, through a shared care agreement, Prof. Barnes wrote the first NHS prescription for medical cannabis for Alfie Dingley, who lives with a rare form of epilepsy. 


Professor Barnes is committed to securing access to medical cannabis for all patients who need it. He is Chief Medical Officer of Drug Science's Project Twenty21, a research project to create the UK's largest body of evidence for the effectiveness and tolerability of medical cannabis. It is hoped that the Project's findings will provide evidence for NHS funding for this treatment. 

Prof Barnes also works to advance the education and support available to doctors and increase the number of doctors able to prescribe this life-changing treatment. Founder and President of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, Prof Barnes, leads this independent, not-for-profit community of clinicians, dedicated to supporting members with education, peer support and mentoring. 


Prof. Barnes founded, Chaired and is now President of the Cannabis Industry Council, established in 2021 to bring together organisations from across the sector. A collective voice for the industry, the Council will define and maintain the Gold Standard for organisations operating in the medical Cannabis and Hemp sector. 


Over his 30 year career in the neurorehabilitation and brain injury sector, Prof. Barnes was a pioneering force behind the growth of neurorehabilitation as a medical speciality, raising the discipline's profile, understanding and knowledge and ultimately improving medical outcomes for countless patients globally.


Prof Barnes is a highly sought-after educator, regularly lecturing Clinicians about all aspects of medical cannabis history, evidence and prescribing.  Prof. Barnes has also lectured at international conferences presentations to Government, including Cannabis Europa, APPG on Medical Cannabis under Prescription, the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK Health Select Committee, Cannabis Investor Forum, Malta Cannabis Conference, Colombian cannabis conference and in many other settings.

The Beginner's Guide to Medical Cannabis was published in spring 2019 and is available via Amazon. 


Lifetime Achievement Award the field of neurorehabilitation

Presented at the Abu Dhabi Neuro Rehab Conference 2015 by brother of the Emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa.​

Honorary Member: Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (2001)

Awarded to individuals who have made a significant global contribution to the development of rehabilitation medicine 

Lawrence Poole Prize, University of Edinburgh (1999)

This award is given for significant worldwide contribution to rehabilitation medicine

Honorary Member of the Società Italiana di Riabilitazione Neurologica

Awarded for exceptional contribution to the scientific and clinical development of neurological rehabilitation worldwide

Stack of Lined Notebooks


1972 - 1977

University of Bristol









MD (University of Bristol) ‑ ‘A study of the effect of hyperbaric oxygen on chronic multiple sclerosis’.



Accreditation in Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine



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