By Roland Sebestyén
As the medical cannabis industry continues to gain momentum in the Channel islands, it is now up to the EU and the UK to catch up, experts claimed at the Jersey Farming Conference.
Jersey Evening Post reports that as the new laws allow the prescription of medical cannabis by GPs, they have issued 2,000 medical cannabis prescriptions on the Island.
The numbers don’t lie, the industry appears to be booming. So much so that some say it could one day “rival the finance industry” and the Channel Islands have already topped the UK and Europe.
Dr Charlotte Cocks, from local clinic Medicann Jersey, said: “In Jersey and Guernsey we are leading the way in Europe, and are certainly ahead of the UK as GPs are following a model from across many ponds in Canada, USA and Australia, who have been able to prescribe medical cannabis for many years.”
The JEP reports that while only very few people for a very few medical conditions in England are likely to get a prescription for medical cannabis via the NHS in the UK, in Jersey patients have access to the medicine on prescription and clinics as well.
The difference between how the UK and the Channel Islands treat medical cannabis is immense.
In the UK, medical cannabis is only for a number of conditions. In the meantime, Dr Cocks added that medical cannabis could also be prescribed for those in “end-of-life care” on the Channel Islands.
It is clear that those in Guernsey and Jersey are all-in on helping patients who need medical cannabis.
Education, or the lack thereof, has always been a problem in the UK when it comes to the appropriate use of medical cannabis – this is something that is not an issue on the Channel Islands as the public, and the GPs are open to learning about it.
Dr Cocks added: “‘We are being scrutinised on this new medicine, and that’s right and proper, so let’s look at it and celebrate the fact that we can now prescribe.
“If a GP wants to learn about it – great, join the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society. You don’t need to be a prescriber, it’s there as an education forum, and there are a huge number of webinars with prescribers who will answer questions.
“We are trying to inspire people and help doctors to help patients who have got into a corner where they are not sure where to go.”
As I said, the difference is immense.