The United Kingdom has received its first bulk shipment of 800 grams of cannabis after its Home Office gave doctors the option to prescribe cannabis last November. Medical cannabis has been imported before, but only for a single prescription.
Last year, there was public outcry after two children were denied being allowed to bring cannabis into the country for treatment even after it was clear that cannabis was a necessity for treating their ailment. The following permission from the Home Office reflects the acknowledgement and support of cannabis’ benefits in the U.K. Formal guidelines for the U.K. have yet to be published, but for now, cannabis can be prescribed on a case-by-case basis by specialists once other treatment options have been exhausted.
The first shipment of cannabis arrived from the Netherlands late last week, according to a press release. The shipment was a joint effort by British medical cannabis start-up Grow Biotech, IPS Specials and European Cannabis Holdings. The cannabis will be sent directly to pharmacists for patients who have been recommended cannabis by specialist doctors on the General Medical Council’s specialist register.
Further shipments of cannabis for patient’s have already been confirmed. “The fact that we are now in a position to write prescriptions that can actually be fulfilled is a huge achievement,” said European Cannabis Holdings medical board member Dr. David McDowell. “Patients no longer need to worry about how they can access their medication, which will mark a positive step change in their journey and finally provide the relief that they are looking for, and we can now finally provide.”
The U.K. got its first commercial shipment of cannabis oil earlier this month from Aurora Cannabis Inc. “One of the things that we’re doing in Europe is making a very clear argument that Europe should move forward in harmonization country to country, so as not to disturb the common market,” said Cam Battley, Aurora’s chief corporate officer. The European Union recently acted on WHO recommendations, voting in favor of a resolution supporting countries’ legalization of cannabis for medical use.