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United Kingdom: Health Regulators To Reclassify Certain 'Cannabis-Derived Medicinal Products'

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Cannabis-Derived Medicinal Products

London, United Kingdom: British regulators have announced their intent to reclassify certain marijuana-derived products so that they may be made available by prescription.

The proposed scheduling change follows a July 2018 government review, which concluded, "[T]here is now conclusive evidence of medicinal benefit of cannabis-based products for certain medical conditions." A number of parents who sought access to cannabis-based tinctures as a potential anti-seizure treatment for their children also prominently campaigned for the law change.

According to a Home Office press release, regulators must still define which specific products will explicitly be reclassified from Schedule I to Schedule II. It states, "The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will now develop a clear definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived medicinal product so they can be rescheduled and prescribed. Only products meeting this definition will be rescheduled. Other forms of cannabis will be kept under strict controls and will not be available on prescription."

Until that process is completed, clinicians will have to apply to an "independent expert panel" in order to seek permission to legally prescribe cannabis-derived products to their patients.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.