First regulator-approved medical cannabis clinic opens in U.K.

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Regulators have given the thumbs-up to the opening of England’s first approved medical cannabis clinic.

While it will not the first private clinic in the country to prescribe medical cannabis it will the first to be approved by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the regulator of health and social care services in England.

This comes as the U.K.’s tardy cannabis prescribing regime continues to fail those in need of cannabis, despite last year’s law change. The failure of the U.K. system to provide medical cannabis following last November’s shake-up means many patients have to rely on private clinics, with many paying over £1,500 a month for their cannabis medication.

Vital Lifeline

The MailOnline website reports that Sapphire Medical Clinic in London has now been given the green-light to start prescribing cannabis-based medicines. Managing Director at Sapphire Clinics, Dr Mikael Sodergren, told MailOnline that it has more than 50 patients on its waiting list for cannabis medicine.

He said that it ‘can now be the lifeline for GPs who are not permitted to prescribe themselves but who think their patients could benefit from medical cannabis’.

The European Pharmaceutical review website reports that Sapphire will create a registry of patient response and efficacy which can ‘contribute to the building of an evidence database which could provide information that enables the widespread adoption of medical cannabis’.

New U.K. Cannabis Group

Meanwhile, one of the few existing private clinics has been taken under the wing of a new organisation, namely; the Lyphe Group which has been spun out from European Cannabis Holdings. The Lyphe Group will be headed by Chief Executive Dean Friday and includes the The Medical Cannabis Clinics – the U.K.’s first chain of private clinics specialising in cannabis-based medicines.

Other businesses in Lyphe are the Academy of Medical Cannabis – an medics online learning platform, Astral Health, a bulk importer of medical cannabis products into the UK, and Dispensary Green – the UK’s first online home-delivery pharmacy for medical cannabis.

Dean Friday, CEO at Lyphe said that it now supports the entire process from training healthcare professionals to helping them embrace cannabis medicine, to providing the infrastructure for importation and fulfilling prescriptions. “Our integrated business model will help combat the disjointed system that currently inhibits patient access,” he added.

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