The cannabis plant is one of the oldest medicines on earth, with humans having used it for medical purposes for thousands of years.
It wasn’t until the better part of a hundred years ago that medical cannabis became prohibited on a global scale.
Cannabis is medicine, as proven by tens of thousands of peer-reviewed studies and countless personal experiences of patients that have successfully treated their condition(s) with cannabis.
Fortunately, more countries have legalized cannabis for medical use than ever before in the post-prohibition era, including in the United Kingdom.
As of November 1, 2018 the United Kingdom has allowed ‘expert doctors’ to prescribe the use of medical cannabis products to patients they feel would benefit from it.
Previously medical cannabis could be prescribed, in theory. However, it was only legal after a doctor obtained approval from a review panel.
The 2018 policy change opened things up, allowing more doctors to prescribe medical cannabis.
With that being said, the United Kingdom’s medical cannabis program is one of the most restrictive out of the countries that have legalized medical cannabis and safe access is still a major issue.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service recently launched a medical cannabis patient registry.
Legal medical cannabis in the United Kingdom is a far cry from countries like Canada, which allows dispensaries, delivery services, all forms of medical cannabis, and home cultivation.
Unfortunately, patients in the United Kingdom have a hard time finding doctors to approve prescriptions, and obtaining certain forms of medical cannabis is nearly impossible.
A patient registry will help lawmakers and regulators gather data that will be used to make future policy and regulatory decisions.
The medical cannabis patient registry will also encourage more doctors to treat medical cannabis as a legitimate medicine and remove some of the stigma surrounding the plant and its products.
Just as comprehensive medical cannabis reform and safe access works in other countries, it could work in the United Kingdom.
However, for the time being, the launch of a patient registry seems to be a good step in the right direction, even if it’s ultimately not the giant leap that is desperately needed in the UK.