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UK Regulators Publish Emergency Medical Cannabis Rules

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Regulators in the United Kingdom recently published emergency rules allowing patients to access cannabis-based medicines from pharmacies without a prescription during the coronavirus pandemic.

As with just about everything right now, the pandemic is having a negative impact on the UK’s medical cannabis program. The UK’s program is very limited, however, UK regulators still felt that medical cannabis was essential enough to issue the emergency rules to help some, but not all, suffering patients. Per BBC:

On Wednesday, the government published emergency legislation which, if activated, would allow patients to continue accessing controlled drugs for the duration of the pandemic, from local pharmacies, without a prescription.

A Home Office official said the measures would “relieve pressure on our healthcare system and encourage people to stay at home”.

Unfortunately, the rules will only help a limited number of patients if they are enacted. As a pharmacist pointed out in the previously cited BBC article, the rules only apply to patients receiving ‘ongoing’ treatment, which will result in many suffering patients being excluded from benefitting from the new public policy.

The move by UK regulators is a small one, but it will hopefully help some amount of suffering patients. The UK is home to one of the most limited medical cannabis programs in developed countries, and hopefully that changes sooner rather than later because all suffering patients deserve safe access to proven medications such as medical cannabis.