European Cannabis Holdings (ECH) has announced plans to open The Medical Cannabis Clinics in a step toward aiding patients living with a range of chronic conditions
The clinics, which will open this spring, will be the first in the UK to offer cannabis-based therapy and prescription cannabiniods to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve conditions, muscle cramps (spasticity); treating neurological conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; and addressing psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The first clinic will open at The Beeches Consulting Centre in Manchester in March and will be led by Dr David McDowell, a Consultant in Pain Management who issued the first prescription for medical cannabis in December.
Clinics will then open in London across multiple disciplines including neurology and psychiatry in addition to chronic pain, on Harley Street, and in Birmingham later this spring.
The opening of the clinics follows the Home Office’s decision to reschedule medical cannabis in November. Despite the change in the law, only four patients have successfully accessed this treatment via the NHS. The barriers to access, which include establishing exceptional clinical circumstances, exhausting all lawful alternatives, gaining agreement from an NHS Trust Medical Director, and engaging a specialist doctor to accept liability, mean that patients are generally unable to secure this treatment via the NHS.
Professor Mike Barnes, a consultant neurologist, will serve as the Clinical Director of the Clinics. Prof Barnes was responsible for obtaining the first medicinal cannabis licence for Alfie Dingley. He is also one of the world’s foremost experts in medical cannabis whose 2016 report ‘Cannabis: The Evidence for Medical Use’ helped pave the way for legalisation of medical cannabis.
Professor Barnes commented: “These clinics represent a much-needed framework to enable access to treatments for a range of serious illnesses, and bring the UK into line with other countries when it comes to pain management. The hope is that over time patients all around the country will have access to the relief that they are looking for.”
Hannah Simon, ECH COO, added: “We are delighted to be supporting the establishment of the Medical Cannabis Clinics in the UK. The legalisation of prescription cannabis has given people with chronic illnesses hope; the next step is to ensure the availability of medical cannabis to offer those without other alternatives the treatment they need.”
Editor's Recommended Articles
Must Read >> Medical cannabis advocacy and education
Must Read >> How blockchain could transform the cannabis industry