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Isle of Man cannabis dispensing service expected later this month

The Department of Health and Social Care has apologised for delays, blaming “unforeseen technical issues”. 



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Patients on the Isle of Man can expect to have their cannabis prescriptions dispensed locally from the end of October following delays to the service launching.

The Department of Health and Social Care has apologised for delays to the launch of a local cannabis dispensing service on the Isle of Man, blaming “unforeseen technical issues”. 

Earlier this year, the family-run Karsons Pharmacy, was awarded a licence for the importation and dispensing of cannabis based products for medicinal use (CBPMs) on the Island.

The development will mean that Island residents with private prescriptions for medicinal cannabis products will be able to have their prescriptions fulfilled locally for the first time.

Following a statement from the government announcing the news in June, it was hoped that the service would be up and running by the end of the summer.

However, officials have now said it is likely to be the end of October before the service is ready, with details still being ironed out with the Home Office.

A statement on the Department’s Facebook page, said: “Unfortunately there is a delay to the launch of the cannabis dispensing service on Island. The Department of Health and Social Care has been working to resolve unforeseen technical issues between the Department and UK Home Office.

“These final negotiations should conclude within the next two weeks as a matter of urgency, with all other preparations for commencing the service now complete. It is hoped that Karsons will be able to start providing this important service before the end of October.

“The Department apologies for the delay and thanks the public for their patience.”

A spokesperson told Cannabis Health that the Home Office is working with the Department to ensure that processes are in place to monitor the movement of cannabis products to and from the Isle of Man.  This is in order for the UK to satisfy its duties and declarations under the UN convention.

Karsons, which operates out of Onchan and Kirk Michael, will be the only on-Island pharmacy with a licence to import and dispense CBPMs.

The licence allows Karsons to operate the scheme as a pilot for a minimum of 12 months – to import and dispense products, develop a robust governance process and collect data that evidences need and demand which will help to shape future service provision on the Island.  

Residents seeking cannabis based medicinal products will need to do so via a prescription from a private clinic in the UK or Crown Dependencies, by clinicians who are on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council (GMC).

Together with the Department of Health, Karsons is shortly expected to release guidance and a series of FAQs for how the service will work, including accessing prescriptions, products and considerations for driving, travelling and storing cannabis based products.  

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Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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