The Medical Cannabis Working Group is a cross-sector collaboration that includes scientific experts, academics, policy makers and leaders of patient advocacy groups alongside industry partners collectively aiming to improve and accelerate access of medical cannabis in the UK for all patients.

Aim

To improve and accelerate access of medical cannabis in the UK for all patients

Objectives

Rationale

The Medical Cannabis Working Group is a collaboration that continues to prioritise an approach that includes:

(i) Medical education,
(ii) Reasonable access to patients in need and patients seeking medical cannabis, along with
(iii) The collection of robust real-world data that may inform effectiveness and safety, along with QALY and patient reported outcomes.

These approaches are key in the implementation of an effective access programme in the UK that is most likely to have the best public health outcome.

It is clear that whilst there is great progress in access to medical cannabis being made worldwide, patients in the UK are being prevented from accessing potentially beneficial treatment, despite cannabis having been legally classified as a medicine since November 2018. Since then, only a handful of patients have received a prescription on the NHS, despite lobby and patient groups suggesting the number of patients currently using illicit cannabis for therapeutic purposes in the UK to be in the region of 1.4 million people.

We believe that a balance must be struck between the access demands of patients based on unmet need, the risk of a burgeoning illicit market in the context of restricted access, and the collection of data to monitor safety. Medical cannabis is already being made available in significant numbers in Europe and in other countries, whilst patients in the UK are being driven to the illicit cannabis market characterised by irregular products high in THC, or the CBD market currently governed as a novel food by the Food Standards Agency.

If you are interested in joining the Medical Cannabis Working Group as a corporate partner, please contact Anne Schlag (CEO).

Scientific Committee

Prof David Nutt

Professor of Neuro-psychopharmacology

Prof Val Curran

Professor of Psychopharmacology

Prof Adam Winstock

Honorary Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist

Prof Larry Phillips

Emeritus Professor

Prof Michael Lynskey

Chief Research Officer

Prof Eileen Joyce

Professor of Neuropsychiatry

Dr Tim Williams

Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist

Prof Mike Barnes

Consultant Neurologist

General Advisors

Dr Liz Iveson

Consultant Stroke Physician

Dr Rebecca Moore

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Callie Seaman

Plant Scientist, Aqualabs

Dr Alan Fayaz

Consultant in Pain Medicine

Dr Evan Lewis

Paediatric Neurologist

Bonni Goldstein MD

Paediatric Cannabis Physician

Dr Niraj Singh

Consultant Psychiatrist

Policy Specialists

Baroness Molly Meacher

Chair, APPG for Drug Policy Reform

Dr Leon Barron

General Practitioner, PCCN

Dr Dani Gordon

Vice Chair, UK Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society

Jeff Smith MP

Labour MP, Manchester Withington

Steve Rolles

Senior Policy Analyst, Transform

Rudi Fortson QC

Barrister, Kings Counsel

Alexandre Piot

Director of Research, CDPRG

Patient Advocates

Hannah Deacon

Director, MCCS

Matt Hughes

Co-Founder & Director of Medcan Support

Lucy Stafford

Advocacy Lead, PLEA

Research

2023

2022

2021

2020

Know Your Rights: Medical Cannabis in the UK

Cannabis-Based Prescribed Medicines have been available in the UK since 2019. These medicines are permitted for the treatment of various medical conditions, provided an individual demonstrates exceptional clinical necessity and has exhausted at least two alternative treatment options without success. 

The rollout of Cannabis-Based Prescribed Medicines has been tumultuous and has left patients, employers, and UK police forces confused regarding their rights and the law. This document aims to alleviate some of that confusion.

 

*Important Note for Readers

This information is provided as a guide for educational purposes only. Whereas every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, it is important to understand that is not legal advice, and the information must not be relied upon as such. This is because the information set out herein is not nearly detailed or tailored enough to address all the legal considerations that may arise in any specific circumstances. Some information has been paraphrased and additional legal topics have been omitted for ease of reading, as have many exceptions to the rules set out herein. We would therefore encourage anyone facing issues of a legal nature to contact Mackrell.Solicitors or another suitably qualified law firm for bespoke advice.

Partners

The Medical Cannabis Working Group is supported by unrestricted educational grants from the following partners:

Supporting Partners