The first specialized medical cannabis clinic in the United Kingdom opened in Manchester on Saturday. It's a major step for the country that in November rescheduled certain cannabis products allowing medical professionals to prescribe them.
The new Medical Cannabis Clinic will be led by Dr. David McDowell, an independent pain specialist, who in December issued the first prescription for medical marijuana to a patient suffering from the genetic condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. The prescription allowed the patient to reduce the number of daily medications to three from 13.
Consultant neurologist Professor Mike Barnes will serve as a Clinical Director. The clinic will operate at The Beeches Consulting Center in Manchester.
The cannabis clinic in Manchester is the first of a chain that are planned throughout the country. Next cities where clinics are expected this spring include London, where there will be clinics covering neurology and psychiatry in addition to chronic pain treatment, and Birmingham.
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Why This Is Important
Under the new guidance issued in November, general practitioners aren't allowed to prescribe medical marijuana, but patients can be referred to specialists that are authorized to do so under the National Health System.
Very few people have received a prescription for cannabis since November, according to reports, and among those most have not been able to access cannabis. In February, Aurora Cannabis, Inc. ACB said it completed the first shipment of cannabis oil to the UK.
The clinic in Manchester will treat patients that are suffering from chronic pain and currently have to rely on highly addictive opioids. It will play a major role in simplifying access to cannabis to people that need it, but are struggling to get access. The clinic will provide a framework under which patients will also be able to secure treatment via the National Health System.
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