Anne Franc

CBiol. MSB.


Areas of expertise


Drugs of abuse >


Cannabis cultivation


Drug legislation


Drug production and importation


Drug testing and analysis


Drug valuation


Drugs comparisons and purity analysis


With 47 years’ in forensic science, Anne Franc is an internationally recognised forensic scientist and drug expert. Anne has worked in senior positions in drugs and toxicology, for some of the largest national forensic providers to police forces in England and Wales. These include the Home Office Forensic Science Service (latterly the FSS), Forensic Alliance and LGC Forensics. She was also formerly authorised by the Secretary of State for Scotland to examine and report Scottish drugs cases.


Anne is widely recognised as a leading cannabis expert, with over 23 years of experience in this field. Anne previously advised the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on cannabis cultivation and cannabis yields and played a major role in a unique Home Office survey (2008) on cannabis potency and distribution.


Anne is currently working on an EU funded drugs project to produce quantitative sampling guidelines for the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) and is co-author of three scientific papers on this topic which were recently published. Anne is editor in chief of the guidelines which will be available internationally.


  • Principal Scientist for Forensic Equity since 2010.

  • Senior court reporting scientist with over 34 years’ experience as an expert witness.

  • Forensic expert in all aspects of drugs of abuse.

  • Leading European authority and forensic expert in cannabis and cannabis cultivation, including yield estimation and valuation and in the interpretation of intact or dismantled cannabis cultivation scenes, from photographic records and forensic scene reports.

  • Leading European forensic expert for ‘drugs on money’ in asset confiscation cases; with 15 years’ experience in appearing for the defence and with several successful challenges of the prosecution’s evidence. Notably the withdrawal of the prosecution’s scientific evidence in a large asset confiscation case in Scotland, where her findings cast doubt on the information obtained from the MSA general circulation database.

  • Highly experienced and respected drugs valuation expert.

  • Drugs legislation expert.

  • Qualified expert in drug identification and purity determination.

  • Experienced and highly qualified in the science of drugs comparison and drugs profiling.

  • Leading forensic defence expert in drugs of abuse and in the field of steroids.

  • Vastly experienced in supporting the defence or prosecution team by assisting with cross-examination.

  • Leading drugs packaging expert (comparison of manufacturing marks, mechanical fits etc. on wide range of packaging).

  • Highly experienced in the field of drugs trace analysis.

  • Holds an unrivalled knowledge of the trace detection equipment used by police, customs and forensic providers.

  • Former scientific advisor to LGC Forensics and Police Forces across England, Wales and Scotland.

  • Experienced and qualified trainer in all aspects of drugs of abuse including cannabis, heroin, amphetamine, steroids, ecstasy and cocaine.

  • Experienced in forensic drugs laboratory planning and set-up, together with providing all analytical protocols needed for UKAS accreditation.

Committee Memberships

  • Associate member of the European network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) Drugs Working Group.

  • Member of an EU funded, ENFSI drugs project group, working to produce ‘Guidelines for Sampling Drugs for Quantitative Analysis’.

  • Former member of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Drugs Committee and Drugs Working Group.

  • Former member of Inter Agency Drugs Intelligence Group (IADIG).

  • Former scientific consultant for international pharmaceutical company.

  • Registered drugs expert and specialist drugs assessor for the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) prior to it being disbanded in 2009.

Notable Work

  • Provided written evidence to the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), regarding cannabis potency and distribution in the UK, prior to the most recent reclassification of cannabis.

  • Major participant in Home Office Cannabis Potency Survey (2008). 

  • Provided training and consultancy support to a number of major UK police forces, which enabled their in-house laboratories to gain UKAS accreditation for forensic drugs analysis.

  • Key member of an EU funded project to provide guidelines to all European forensic science laboratories for the sampling of drugs for qualitative analysis.

  • Co-author of three scientific papers on sampling for the quantitative analysis of drugs (Published 2013/2014).

  • Devised and delivered training courses in the use of drugs test kits for remand and charging by the police (Guilty plea and EDIT processes). Formerly chief trainer on the use of drug test kits by UK police officers (Home Office authorised).

  • Original author of many of the drugs related training courses currently offered to police forces and government bodies both in the UK and internationally.

  • Author of a number of key training documents and scene aids for major forensic providers and the police.

Notable Cases

  • Multi-million pound cannabis importation.

The case involved the characterisation and valuation of multiple seizures of different types of cannabis and cannabis resin. Based on her reports the POCA asset liability was substantially reduced from c.£14m to c.£1.5m. 

  • Alleged opium importation, based on drug traces detected on banknotes.

Based on her report the charges were reduced to possession of controlled drugs.

  • Cannabis cultivation charges.

Defendant was found not guilty based on her cannabis growing cycle’s report, which showed that the defendant could not have been present at the cultivation address during the period in which the plants were grown.

  • Alleged supply of steroids based on the seizure of multiple steroid preparations from defendants home address. 

Commercial supply charges were dropped, based on her report.


‘We instructed Anne Franc as an expert in relation to a criminal case.  We found her to be knowledgeable, easy to contact and quick to respond to any queries.  We also required liaison with the prosecution expert and this was done quickly and with good results (The prosecution offered no evidence and so a not guilty verdict was entered).  The report which was produced was of an extremely high standard.  It covered all points which we had requested and also covered points we had not anticipated.  We would definitely instruct Mrs Franc again and would recommend her to other firms.”

Lansbury Worthington


“I had been instructed to represent the client in a Newton Hearing arising out of an incident whereby police had found a number of cannabis plants in an attic growing space. A Police Officer had produced a statement which purported to estimate the likely yield and eventual value of the crop.  The defendant did not deny the offence but he did robustly challenge the likely yield and value.   Thankfully the expert witness firm that my instructing solicitors chose to instruct meant that the defence report was written by Anne Franc. .  Her report was clear and concise and proved that the police estimates as to yield and value were indeed inaccurate.  The Judge accepted the report of Anne Franc over that of the Police Officer.”

9 Kings Bench Walk


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“I wanted to thank you and your team for the amazing efforts, work and speed with which you attended to the various queries that arose during the trial. After only 4 hours, the jury unanimously acquitted ‘M’ and convicted the co-defendant.

I personally am very grateful, especially as it made my task of dealing with certain issues easier and more professional.”

Barrister, Furnival Chambers


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