The first Jersey-grown, non-irradiated, medicinal cannabis product is to be available on prescription for UK patients this month.
In what marks a new milestone for the European cannabis sector, medical cannabis company KHIRON Europe, will bring the first cannabis-based medicine produced on the island of Jersey to the UK market.
The high-THC flower, KHIRON GK 24/1, is expected to be available from Monday 13 November for patients registered with UK clinics.
It is the first product on the market to be manufactured so close to the mainland UK. Until now, all of those available on prescription have been imported from producers overseas, leading to calls for the development of a robust domestic market.
There are now 32,000 patients with legal prescriptions for medicinal cannabis in the UK but the lack of a domestic supply chain has led to issues with products going out of stock and/or delays to receiving medication.
Speaking to Cannabis Health exclusively ahead of the launch, KHIRON said the development should offer increased reliability for patients by ensuring a consistent supply of medication, as well environmental sustainability.
KHIRON GK 24/1 is also non-irradiated and greenhouse grown under strict GMP-compliant conditions.
As well as the UK, the product will also be available for prescription in Germany.
‘Sustainability and reliability’
President KHIRON Europe, Franziska Katterbach, said: “We are very excited to bring the first Jersey-grown product to the UK and German markets, given the island’s reputation for high quality products. Patients have the right to know where their medicine comes from and the closer to home this is, the more reassurance that comes with it. The fact that they know this has been grown in a facility which has been approved by UK regulators is huge because it is the first time this has happened.
“The pandemic showed how fragile our supply chains are so it’s really important to have European products for European patients. The establishment of a UK supply chain is another step forward for medical cannabis in Europe. We know that other countries are watching and this development will also demonstrate to regulators how the medical cannabis industry can generate job opportunities and wider economic growth.”
Clinic director of ZERENIA Clinics UK, Helen Gale, commented: “At ZERENIA we are thrilled to see the launch of a product which is not only environmentally sustainable, but also offers reliability for the UK market.
“Until now it has always been a struggle to ensure consistency and reliability of a fantastic quality product and the chopping and changing between products is a big problem in the industry, especially when you are dealing with patients with complex conditions. For them to be able to have access to a high quality product, that they can rely upon for its availability, is going to be a massive plus in the UK. It will be really gratifying to see patients responding to that treatment and importantly, being able to continue on it.
“Our UK doctors are also very excited about this product becoming available. The fact that the quality is so high gives confidence to prescribers.”
Commitment to NHS access
Earlier this year ZERENIA secured two reimbursements for unlicensed cannabis medicines through the NHS, something which Khiron remains committed to.
“Ensuring products are available to patients through the NHS is something that is very important to us and that we will continue to work on in the coming year,” added Katterbach.
“We hope that having a medicine that has been approved by UK regulators will be another small step towards wider NHS access.”