Home Legislative What Will Medical Marijuana Look Like in the UK?

What Will Medical Marijuana Look Like in the UK?


A couple of months ago we reported on the decision by the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary to allow some form of medical cannabis to patients who need it after a series of much-publicized battles between sick children and the U.K. government. Now, the Home Secretary is taking another step toward the reality of medical marijuana being available to those who need it in the U.K.

Last week, the U.K.H.S., along with the country’s Health and Social Care Secretary, released some details about how “cannabis-based products” can be administered and by what doctors.

The “who” part is simple enough: specialist doctors (those who focus on one field of medicine) who are listed on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) specialist register will be allowed to prescribe certain medicines when they feel it’s warranted. What medicines will be allowed depend on how well that medicine lines up with “three broad requirements”:

  • The product is or contains cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabinol or cannabinol derivatives
  • The product must be produced for medicinal use in humans
  • It must be a product that is regulated as a medicinal product or an ingredient of a medicinal product

Obviously much remains to be seen when it comes to the specific products that will be available.

“After hearing of the cases involving sick children, I pledged to make cannabis products legally available for medicinal use as soon as possible,” said Home Secretary Sajid Javid. “Agreeing this definition means specialist doctors will be able to prescribe them to patients most in need later this autumn. There will be strict controls in place and this is in no way a step towards legalising the recreational use of cannabis.”

Government officials will parrot the line about this in no way being a step toward recreational legalization as a way to calm older folks, and it’s a safe thing to say because many of them will be on to other jobs when adult use legalization does come to the U.K.

For now, sick people in the United Kingdom may soon be able to legally get the relief that has been denied them for so long. And while it may not be everything the activists there want, it is a great start and will hopefully be a vast improvement over the current system of total prohibition.

And if sick children can finally use medical cannabis without getting special permission from the Home Secretary, then that’s truly a great thing.