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Patients welcome UK’s first medical cannabis ID scheme



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People who have been legally prescribed medical cannabis in the UK can now sign up for a patient ID card to prove their status.

Hundreds of patients in the UK are now being prescribed medical cannabis legally, but many still live in fear of being subjected to checks by the police.

Not only is it distressing for patients to be questioned by police officers, say campaigners, but it is a drain on police time and resources to pursue and criminalise patients who are legally consuming medical cannabis.

The new scheme is being piloted by Numeds – the first company to provide a medical cannabis prescription to an adult patient in the UK in February 2019 – and is supported by leading cannabis patient advocacy group Patient-Led Education for Access (PLEA).

Medical cannabis patients can sign up for free to the MedCannID patient registration system, to be issued with a unique ID card, along with access to an accompanying app which securely stores their data.

The card certifies to authorities that the patient is a legal cannabis user, as well as helping tackle stigma they might face in day to day life – such as in the workplace or out in the community – according to founder and CEO of Numeds Marios Panteli, who has over 30 years experience in cannabis advocacy and patient support services.

“We are not just a registration system, we are a force on our own,” he said.

“We’ve had some good responses from police commissioners and are working towards establishing relationships with other authorities alongside law enforcement, such as customs officials, transport police, insurance companies and HMRC –  agencies which are not really a part of the conversation at the moment.

“These issues will come to the forefront as the number of patients who are consuming cannabis legally on prescription increases.”

He continued: “We’re trying to bridge the gap and offer protection for patients so they don’t have to live with the paranoia of getting arrested for something that is 100 percent legal.

“Authorities can very quickly establish the legal status of a medical cannabis patient and avoid liability for potential illegal arrest and illegal seizure of life-saving medication.”

The card includes a photo ID, unique registration number and encapsulated holographic tamper-proof seal with embedded numbers and void technology, to ensure that each card is unique and verifiably linked to an individual patient.

There is also an accompanying app which can be installed on the patient’s smartphone to capture relevant information on the patient and their medical cannabis prescription.

To register, patients will need to upload a copy of their most recent prescription and MedCannID will carry out full verification checks.

Marios added: “We’ve had an amazing response from patients so far and I would encourage anyone who has a legal cannabis prescription to sign up.”

PLEA co-founder Abby Hughes is the first patient to use MedCannID, she commented: “MedCannID provides a unique, valuable service for patients like me who have a prescription from a specialist doctor to consume cannabis.

“PLEA are proud to support initiatives such as MedCannID which improve the quality of life of patients and diminish the stigma that legal medical cannabis patients face.”

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