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Medical cannabis deliveries amid coronavirus crisis

Home deliveries of medicinal cannabis have been made available to patients seeking private access to the treatment while avoiding the threat of COVID-19.



The medical cannabis industry in the UK has quickly adapted to the challenges to patient access posed by COVID-19.

The outbreak has sparked the rapid roll-out of remote access and online services for medical cannabis patients – meaning patients won’t have to leave their home at any point to get their medicine.

Previously patients were required to meet specialists in person for consultations in order to receive prescriptions, repeating the visits every 28 days to renew their prescription.

This could be physically taxing, especially for chronic pain patients, adding to anxiety and costs associated with obtaining their medicine.

Add in the threat of COVID-19 and the whole experience has become something of an ordeal for many patients.

In response, medical cannabis firm Grow Pharma, a subsidiary of Grow, has teamed up with London-based Cannabis Access Clinics to launch a new service allowing patients to obtain medical cannabis at home.

The process includes an initial free consultation, followed by a consultation with a specialist doctor via online video link and, potentially, a next-day delivery to the patient’s home.

Sharon Dunne, a mental health professional from Devon and long-term chronic pain patient, recently took advantage of the new service.

She says: “The ability to do this through video link was very helpful; if you are in constant pain it is more difficult to make a long journey to see a specialist. I had been wanting to attend a clinic but a six or seven-hour return journey just to check eligibility made that too difficult.”

The partnership behind the service points out that safety standards have not been lowered in the delivery of it.

And Sharon agrees: “The process was very rigorous and I had to demonstrate the failures of mainstream medicine to treat my pain, which I was able to do since I have all my medical records here at home. I now hope that medical cannabis will help me reduce my reliance on opioids.”

Dr Samuel Murray, general manager of Cannabis Access Clinics, says: “Improving patient access to medical cannabis in the safest way possible is our number one priority at Cannabis Access Clinics UK. For many patients, particularly those who suffer from chronic pain and decreased mobility, it just doesn’t make sense to journey into central London needlessly.

“It’s often much safer that they stay at home, now more than ever, and see the specialist via video consultation.”

According to a 2019 YouGov poll, 1.4 million people in the UK self-medicate using cannabis bought on the black market.

As the COVID-19 crisis contiues, some experts have warned that some patients who have begun treatment via legal routes do not return to the black market due to the perceived lack of supply.

But allaying fears about lack of supply, Grow’s CEO Ben Langley says: “There is an abundance of cannabis medicines available in the UK and we have been working tirelessly with our partners to ensure that these medicines get to the patients for whom it is a crucial element of their doctor’s prescribed treatment.

“This kind of end-to-end service can provide a vital lifeline to patients with pain and chronic conditions during the current public health crisis and beyond and we are always looking for the most cost-effective, patient-friendly way to get cannabis-based medicines – and advice – to those who can benefit most.”

Grow is one of the largest importers and distributors of medical cannabis in the UK.


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