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Parliamentary motion calls for GPs to prescribe cannabis – ask your MP for support

An ‘early day motion’ is urging regulators to give GPs the same rights to prescribe as specialist doctors.



An ‘early day motion’ (EDM) has been tabled calling for GPs to have the same rights to prescribe as specialist doctors. 

A new parliamentary motion is urging regulators to allow GPs to prescribe medical cannabis in the UK in the hopes of opening up access for patients.

An ‘early day motion’ (EDM) has been tabled in Parliament calling for GPs to have the same rights to prescribe cannabis as specialist doctors. 

Under current regulations, a prescription for cannabis must be initiated by a specialist consultant on the General Medical Council (GMC) register. GPs can only support prescribing under what is known as a shared-care agreement. 

With over 36,000 practising GPs in the UK, experts believe that allowing them to initiate prescriptions would open up access to medicinal cannabis for many more patients across the country.

Almost five years since the legalisation of medical cannabis, only a handful of prescriptions for whole-plant medicines have been issued through the NHS.

Motion EDM 1410, tabled by Conservative MP, Crispin Blunt, states: “That this House notes that the Government allowed specialist medical practitioners to be able to prescribe cannabis medicines in 2018, but excluded general medical practitioners, despite their core role in supporting patients in their communities.

“Further notes that, annually, around 20,000 patients obtain private prescriptions for medical cannabis, but just 1,000 have NHS prescriptions and that there are many more who access the illicit market to obtain cannabis for medical reasons.

“And calls on the Government to take the necessary steps to allow general medical practitioners to have the same medical cannabis prescribing rights as specialist medical practitioners.”

The motion comes following the launch of the Protect Our Patients campaign, a coordinated effort led by the Cannabis Industry Council (CIC), urging regulators to allow GPs to prescribe to their patients.

The CIC is now calling on the cannabis sector to contact their local MP to urge them to sign the EDM. 

CEO, Mike Morgan-Giles, commented: “Five years on from medical cannabis being legalised, allowing GPs to prescribe would be a sensible next step. The Cannabis Industry Council is running the ‘Protect our Patients’ campaign to seek to enact this change.

“As part of this, we encourage the cannabis industry to contact your local MP now to urge them to sign this important early day motion.”

READ MORE: New UK campaign calls for GPs to prescribe medicinal cannabis

How do EDMs work?

EDMs are one of the first stages of an issue being debated in the House of Commons. They are usually submitted to put on record the views of individual MPs or to draw attention to specific events or campaigns.

At this stage, there is no fixed date to debate the subject and no guarantee it will be debated at all, but signatures of other MPs can be used to demonstrate the level of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.

Write to your MP

Everyone can write to their MP to ask them to show their support for this issue by signing the EDM. You may wish to use the wording of the motion and state that you want to see GPs given the same prescribing rights as specialists to help improve access to cannabis in the UK.

You can identify and contact your local MP here:

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Home » News » Parliamentary motion calls for GPs to prescribe cannabis – ask your MP for support

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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