Medical Cannabis in the UK

It’s been only one week, but already there are a total of ZERO new medical cannabis patients in the UK.

From November 1st as promised back in July by Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, over 80,000 registered doctors have the potential to prescribe cannabis.

We are going to break down why the headlines were always going to disappoint and what needs to be done to refocus efforts.

So what’s all about?… can we get cannabis or not?

The background

British activists have been lobbying for years, a watershed moment came with the case of Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old epilepsy patient, whose life-saving cannabinoid products were confiscated in June 2018. Cannabis oil was effective at controlling Caldwell’s seizures in a way traditional medical products weren’t.

A PR storm ensued, and the legalisation of medical cannabis went from being a niche issue to one the government simply could not ignore anymore.

The government and specifically the Home Secretary Sajid Javid were media shamed into responding, promising and delivering on promises to re-evaluate the heath benefits and the legal status of cannabis.

What happened next?

In late July, Javid announced changes to the scheduling of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 2001. Cannabis was previously in Schedule 1, which labelled it as having “no medical value”.

It has now been moved to Schedule 2, which will make research on cannabis itself easier.

On October 11, Javid announced that doctors across the UK would be able to prescribe medical cannabis. He cited the concerns of parents such as Charlotte Caldwell as one of his rationales for the policy change.

To much anticipation and fanfare, on November 1st, doctors were officially able to prescribe cannabis to patients who need it.

VICTORY…or was it?