Speaking earlier this year on talkRADIO Mr Blunt said: “What you have got at the moment is cannabis that is very strong in THC, the stuff that makes you high, and much stronger than it was for generations 20 or 30 years ago.

“You have got a criminal supply chain that does not give-a-monkeys about the health effects of what they are selling. What they are doing is selling to children a product that is immensely strong and quite damaging to their mental health.

“If this product was legally supplied, state-licensed and regulated about how it was sold and who could access it, you would then begin to see the development of a market that was pretty much like the alcohol market in the UK.”

Mr Blunt, the MP for Reigate, is a member of the All Party Parliamentary group on drug policy reform and an advocate for legalisation of all drugs.

He added: “The problem you have got is that cannabis is very widely spread but the market is wholly criminal and it would be like the alcohol market being run by the mafia.

“It is more difficult for under-18s to get access to alcohol, than it is to get access to cannabis.

“When you have the state overseeing a legal supply chain, and then regulating the sale of that product into the market, you get much better control of who has access to that product.”