The letter from William Notcutt on encouraging research into the therapeutic uses of cannabis (17 June, p 1671) did not include a statement on competing interests but should have done. Dr Notcutt is undertaking a trial of medicinal grade extract of cannabis in chronic pain that is supported by G W Pharmaceuticals, the suppliers of the medicine. The company has also paid for travelling expenses for Dr Notcutt to speak at conferences.
Dr Notcutt is not alone in thinking that these are not financial competing interests, but by our definitions they are. We should make clear that we did not send Dr Notcutt one of our standard forms on competing interests (www.bmj.com/content/vol317/issue7154/fulltext/supplemental/291/index.shtml#aut), but he did submit his letter originally as a rapid response, where we specifically state: “We ask authors to declare any competing interests.”