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United Kingdom


UK regulatory landscape: import and export of medical cannabis

In this article, Eleri Williams, Associate at Hill Dickinson Life Sciences team, sets out an overview of the current legal and regulatory position on the import and export of medical cannabis to and from the UK.

While doctors are now allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis in certain circumstances, many patients, particularly those who seek prescriptions through the NHS, still face an uphill struggle in obtaining this medicine, which can effectively treat or alleviate the symptoms of some medical conditions.


Mothers rally for medical cannabis outside UK Health Authorities

A number of mothers, each with a severely epileptic child, are today holding a vigil outside the offices of the Department of Health & Social Care, the London headquarters of NHSE, the Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh Assembly.

The mothers are protesting as medical cannabis is the only medication that works for managing their children’s symptoms but they have been denied NHS prescriptions despite medical cannabis being legalised in November 2018.


More Than One Million UK Adults Eligible for New Medical Cannabis Card

From 1 November this year, a new cannabis exemption card will be available to protect medicinal cannabis patients from arrest and legal prosecution in the UK. Over 1 million people in the UK may be eligible for the Cancard through their GPs. The initiative is supported by the Police Federation, medical cannabis patients, and MPs all over the country.

In the UK, there are an estimated 1.4 million severely ill people relying on medical cannabis for its therapeutic effect. Due to the low numbers of these patients being able to access cannabis medicines legally through the NHS, many are forced to rely on cannabis from illicit sources.


Scotland’s first cannabis-based medicine approved for NHS

A cannabis-based medicine has been approved for use on the NHS in Scotland for the first time, giving hope in the treatment of rare types of childhood epilepsy.

Cannabidiol (Epidyolex) has been accepted for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a condition which can cause frequent debilitating seizures, by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

It has also been allowed to treat Dravet syndrome, another rare type of epilepsy, which again is characterised by severe seizures of various types.

Patients can have learning disabilities, sleep problems and usually required 24-hour care and are fully dependent through their lives.


Medical Cannabis: What is it and is it legal in the UK

Charlotte Caldwell, the mother of 15-year-old Billy Caldwell, has brought her legal campaign to acquire medicinal cannabis for him through the NHS to an end.

Mrs Caldwell and her son made headlines in 2018 when officials at London’s Heathrow airport confiscated cannabis-based medicine from them, which had been obtained in Canada to treat his epilepsy.


U.K. family seeks judicial review of what they regard as rigid medical cannabis rules

The parents of a three-year-old, U.K. boy diagnosed with severe epilepsy are advocating for a groundbreaking judicial review of what they argue are inflexible rules that effectively block  National Health Service (NHS) physicians from prescribing cannabis oil.

The couple argues that the oil has afforded not only their son, but other children as well, a vast improvement in health and quality of life.


U.K. athletes to face shorter bans for recreational drug use

The U.K.


Man sentenced to over a year in prison for growing more than 40 cannabis plants at home

Gary Widdowson, 34, had the cops visit on an unrelated matter. But then they found cannabis in the house.

Authorities were at Gary Widdowson’s house on an unrelated matter but what they stumbled upon landed the 34-year-old a prison sentence.

Police found more than 40 plants growing in his home, in addition to scales and dried cannabis. Widdowson, a resident of Vicars Walk, U.K., was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to “two counts of possession with intent to supply at a previous hearing,” Worksop Guardian reports.


UK Introducing PLEA: the patient run medical cannabis advocacy group

Founded by a team of patient advocates with experience in the medical cannabis sector, PLEA has been set up to accelerate the integration of medical cannabis within mainstream UK healthcare.

Advocating for better quality of life for medical cannabis patients, PLEA – Patient Led Engagement for Access – is working with patients, researchers, clinicians, and prescribers with an aim to improve access to medical cannabis by overcoming barriers such as finance and geographical location, and by removing stigmas attached to the medicine.


UK: First medical cannabis patient to receive funding for one year

Sapphire Medical Foundation has announced its first patient has secured medicine funding for one year.

Two years following the rescheduling of cannabis-based medicinal products in the UK, Sapphire Medical Foundation has announced its first patient has successfully proceeded through the grant making processes and has seen a clinical specialist who has confirmed eligibility for treatment with cannabis-based medicines.


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