On 1 November 2018, the UK changed the law on medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis products were moved from schedule 1, meaning they have no medicinal value, to schedule 2, which allowed doctors to prescribe them under certain circumstances.
Since the rescheduling, many NHS patients have been frustrated by what they see as a slow and bureaucratic system that has denied them access to cannabis treatments. Formal figures are not available but the number of NHS prescriptions since rescheduling is low – perhaps less than 100.
It is important that the proper regulatory development process is allowed to proceed. The UK needs a medical cannabis system that is responsive to patient needs but also one that is palatable to regulators and conforms to medical practice and standards. Otherwise, progress in this important field will stall.