One year on from the introduction of medical cannabis in the U.K., the overwhelming consensus is that it has been a massive failure in need of a complete overhaul.
As things stand there is little chance of this coming from within the U.K. medical establishment so the change will need to come from elsewhere. Steve Moore, Founder and Director of the Centre For Medicinal Cannabis, described the situation as following:
“The NHS implacably opposed to making it easy to get access to cannabis medicine in the U.K. So, we need a political decision, we need more politics. In other jurisdictions exceptions have been made, and the exceptionality of cannabis has been recognized. We need to get government to recognize this and allow the optics of industry to improve.”
Also speaking the Cannabis Investors Forum in London last week was leading U.K. medical cannabis expert Prof Mike Barnes, who helped establish the Academy of Medical Cannabis and The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society.
He says those responsible for current impasse – mainly the prescribing body NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) – ‘need to resign en masse’.
Canadian Dr Dani Gordon, is Vice Chair of The Medical Cannabis Clinicians society, and now practises in the U.K. She described the NICE guidelines as ‘incredibly negative’, saying the current fixation with double-blind placebo controlled trials fails to accommodate the complexities of cannabis medicine.
“We need to also consider well-done, observational data. We have access to to the experiences of thousands doctors in two continents and we should not be fixated on the traditional drug development funnel,” she said.
To date just a couple of NHS prescriptions have been made with hundreds of patients having to pay for their own medicines prescribed through private clinics. Hannah Deacon’s epileptic son Alfie Dingley is one of the only two patients in the U.K currently in receipt of an NHS prescription for cannabis medicine.
“Patients are being blocked at very stage by bureaucracy and this needs, needs sorting urgently,” she said.
Legal experts have also expressed they frustrations at the inability of the U.K Home Office to ensure more cannabis licences are issued to support the growing CBD and medical cannabis industries. Nick Davies, CEO of London law for Memery Crystal, described how he has 20 clients seeking growing licences with progress on these being glacially slow.
Do you agree that the medical cannabis in the UK is a failure?
Subscribe below to our CBD Business Weekly newsletter and keep yourself updated!
For more stories like this one, subscribe to the CBD Business Weekly Newsletter.