What Do I Need?
- Eligibility (Condition that can be treated with Cannabis & tried at least two forms of treatment, medication and treatments)
- Medical Records (Summary of Care Record)
- Identity Documents
You must have an eligible condition that can be treated with cannabis. Take our unofficial eligibility assessment so you can determine if cannabis is a suitable treatment option for you. (Click here)
Most clinics will require the patient to have a history of using at least 2 medications for their condition which has failed to work for them. Some clinics also require certain conditions to provide evidence of attempting some sort of specialist treatment. This is however at the discretion of each individual prescribing specialist.
When registering with a clinic you will need to provide them with your medical history; this can be automatically obtained by your chosen clinic once they have your approval. Some patients have noticed that the process is quicker if they ask for and receive a 'Summary of Care Record" (SCR) from their GP and then provide it directly to their chosen clinic. Patients who have international GPs may need to provide their medical history to their chosen clinic independently.
NOTE: When asking your GP for the SCR you do not need to inform them as to why you would like a copy, it is your right to view a copy of your SCR and even a copy of your Full Medical Record. You may benefit from just saying things like: "I am looking into private health care and require my records" or "I need access to my records for insurance purposes". Some GPs may take time providing this information.
You may need additional supporting documentation, such as a copy of any correspondence with a specialist if it is what your chosen clinic requires for the condition you are being treated for. Further documentation you will need is ID (Passport or Driving License) if this is not possible other documents such as proof of benefits or birth certificate may be suitable (Ask the clinic you are applying to for further details). This will be required once you have been accepted, this allows for your cannabis medication to be prescribed and dispensed to you. Alternative identification, such as birth/marriage certificate, utility bills, etc. may be accepted although you may need to contact your chosen clinic to confirm.
NOTE: If you intend to use medical cannabis dried flower (bud) then you may need to invest in a dry herb vaporiser if you have not already done so, as it will be the required method of consumption. Consuming cannabis dried flower via combustion (joints/bongs/pipes/etc.) is not considered a medical form of consumption and not following the doctor's directions written on the prescription may leave patients liable of charges, seizure of their medical cannabis products and possible discharge from the clinic.
Patient Access Schemes/Projects/Initiatives have all been put in place to help patients receive treatment at affordable costs as well as provide support to UK research and access of medical cannabis. There is plenty of support for patients who are struggling to get access to medical cannabis or for patients willing to provide support towards improving studies and helping to provide complete access to medical cannabis for all patients. Check out the schemes and projects that's are available and find clinics that support them.
Select a clinic that is affordable to you and treats your condition. (Contact the clinics for more information)
- Complete an online registration, where you will be asked to give permission for the clinic to obtain your medical records from your GP (in some cases it is faster to obtain your own Summary of Care Record directly from your GP).
- After screening of your application, you will either be rejected or accepted for a consultation with a specialist doctor. (Being accepted at this point doesn't mean you are a registered medical cannabis patient just yet!)
- If you are accepted, you will need to book an appointment with a specialist. You can choose the time and date that best suits you, and some clinics allow for you to select a specialist that you would like to see. You will be required to pay for the initial consultation when booking.
- Now it's your consultation. Don't worry you are free to discuss any illicit use of cannabis with your clinician, they are always welcoming even if you do not have any previous experiences with cannabis. At this stage you will be required to verify your identity, so you may need to show a proof of ID. With your doctor you will discuss your medical history, previous medications, if any personal history with cannabis, and mental health questions. If the clinician is confident with prescribing you medical cannabis they might let you know or you may ask. If so, some clinicians will discuss available products/prices and you can arrange your prescription, pending a review from the MDT (multidisciplinary team).
- After your consultation the doctor will discuss your case with the clinic's MDT, who will then decide whether to accept you for a medical cannabis treatment at their clinic. (If you are rejected by one clinic you may be accepted at another). They will then get in contact either by phone or email to confirm you are in receipt of a medical cannabis treatment, this will include your clinical letter (which you will need to keep a copy of). You Are Now A Legal Medical Cannabis Patient!
Getting Your Medical Cannabis
You will be required to book a consultation each time you wish to change the products you are prescribed. A hard copy of the prescription has to be sent from the clinic to the pharmacy which typically takes 1-2 business days, this is a requirement of all pharmacies when dispensing controlled substances.
- You will be contacted by the pharmacy your medication is being dispensed from. They may require you to register with them and may require you to upload a copy of your ID. This may add a little extra time before you can receive your medication.
- Once your dispensing pharmacy has received the hard copy of your prescription and verified your identity, you will receive an itemised invoice and be required to pay online, by phone or by bank transfer.
- Some medications may take extra time for delivery (this will be noted in any email from your dispensing pharmacy), check the lead time of your medication and always order repeats or book follow ups in advance to prevent gaps in your treatment.
- Different pharmacies use different couriers, check which courier they are using as some offer apps and services to track your package. In some cases you may be required to sign for the delivery.
NOTE: To change or add products to your prescription you will be required to book a follow-up appointment each time to do so. It is recommended that you book your appointment before your medication runs out, same goes for ordering repeat prescriptions as there may be some delays.