Jersey is all set to open its first medical cannabis clinic next month. Medical cannabis users can now procure their medicines locally instead of importing it from clinics in mainland UK.
Medical cannabis company, Medicann, is training specialist doctors who are based locally. These doctors will be able to prescribe medical cannabis drugs for patients from the clinic.
The islanders believe that this will drastically reduce the cost they incur in acquiring medical cannabis.
Following the legalisation of medical cannabis use in 2018, residents of Jersey have been acquiring their medicines by importing them from the UK.
This process was tedious and expensive. Firstly, it involved online video consultations with a specialist doctor and getting a prescription from them. Secondly, it required the cannabis company and the patients to procure import and export licences to bring the medicines into Jersey.
James Bedding, a resident of Jersey, reveals his account of spending up to £1,000 for a 3-month repertoire of Bedrocan and Bedica. He says “I think that's going to bring costs down massively. For example, if you get a prescription you don't need to get three months in one go, you could probably get it weekly or monthly just to bring your costs down.”
For such bulk buyers, the local clinic can counter the costs and the formalities involved in availing their medicines.
New clinic to lift pressure off GPs
Medicann, chief executive Matt Johnson believes that there is a high demand for medical CBD on the island. He believes that's many as 500 people on the island might be interested in availing the services of the clinic.
He states, “A lot of GPs are currently getting pressure to prescribe medicinal cannabis to their patients but are struggling to do so because there is a lack of guidelines and they are not clinically confident about doing so”.
Currently, The National Institute of Healthcare and Excellence (NIHE) allows the use of medical cannabis for certain ailments. However, GPs in Jersey refrain from prescribing these medicines to patients due to a lack of guidelines.
Specialists from medical cannabis clinics are able to prescribe drugs for a wider variety of ailments. With a local doctor, patients can be treated and have their questions in person or via a video link.
The island's first medical cannabis clinic is due to open in October in the vicinity of St Helier. It will provide consultancy and prescription services.