What is medical cannabis?
In 2012 Sativex was licensed in the UK.
A cannabis based medicine, made from part of the cannabis plant, combined with alcohol, propylene glycol and peppermint flavour. It was mostly available privately and not prescribed on the NHS until 2014. Even then there have been very few prescriptions made and many have now been taken back and replaced with Epidolux, a CBD and THCV preparation, presented in a similar way to Sativex.
The lack of prescriptions is mostly down to the monopoly, which leads to overinflated costs of Sativex, which is around £600 for a prescription, and can be made with black market products for just £60.
In 2018, under pressure from patients and their carers, who found that CBD alone was not enough for their conditions, Sativex unsuitable due to how its prepared and how it’s taken, MPs passed changes to the misuse of drugs act to reschedule cannabis from schedule 1 (of no medical use) to schedule 2. This allowed for unlicensed cannabis based products for medical use, which includes flowers, oral oils and vape oils, to be prescribed. It also allowed medical research on Cannabis, which had been banned since 1961 when much of the previous research was destroyed.
Sadly there have still been relatively few if any prescriptions granted on the NHS. This is mostly due to; the lack of medical research, proving efficiency vs cost, cost being again inflated due to greed, and research being lacking as the government has failed to invest in it since medical cannabis was permitted by the 2018 law changes.
Instead, people are forced to obtain the medicine that works for them privately, from specialist doctors often working for private clinics.
To do so they must have tried at least two previous medications for their condition. These medications can often be very dangerous, especially when you have to take them everyday for life, as many who need access to medical cannabis do. They can quickly deteriorate your health while still not effectively managing your condition, this is untenable especially with cannabis being a more suitable and safe solution.
Why Is Bristol Cannabis Club having to get involved?
Bristol Cannabis Club feels there should be regulated access for all adults to Cannabis and to grow their own, but until then we support the current medical cannabis offering with an aim to push it to be what it needs to be for the people who need it. Increasing quality and efficiency whilst decreasing price to bring it closer to home grown cannabis levels.
We believe that increasing the number of cannabis prescriptions in the UK questions the legality of Cannabis overall when so many use cannabis for medical reasons and have only positive outcomes from their consumption.
We also feel it’s unfair that many of those who need it the most are currently unable to obtain it. This is due to many of them being on benefits because of their health and the costs of a private prescription, particularly the initial consultation fee to see the specialist and obtain your first prescription, is costly.
Obtaining a medical cannabis prescription can allow people to legally work whilst managing their conditions, drive a vehicle and avoid issues from the stigma of cannabis from social services, housing providers etc.
To help people with the first few hurdles so they have access to legal, clean and affordable (~£5 a gram) cannabis, giving them time to save for their next consultation, we are sponsoring 3 peoples first consultation and a starter size pot of the clinics own brand flower, from a clinic of our choice, for a period of 3 months.
We hope to continue to sponsor prescriptions in this way and will be fundraising to meet this aim. To nominate someone for sponsorship including yourself email firstname.lastname@example.org and include a brief description of why you feel the nominated person deserves the sponsorship.
Thank you for entering into our Legal Cannabis Prescription Draw!
We know it’s a shocking state of affairs when our own government won’t even provide the medical healthcare that we are entitled to – we also know how difficult it is to engage them in sensible discussion on how to alleviate those problems!
That’s why we’ve decided to put some of our own funding into providing this very necessary service – we hope to embarrass the government and gain media traction so that we can force a system into place which does not discriminate against wealth when it comes to appropriate healthcare.
We don’t have many terms and conditions for this prize draw – we’re not asking for any money in exchange for a ticket because we don’t want to isolate those who live pound to pound in this terrifying changing economic world. However, we must have some. And they follow below:
[BCC refers to Bristol Cannabis Club, and the admin staff referred to are: __________; participants/winners refer to those who apply for inclusion into the draw, or those who win said draw. “Prize” refers to one initial consultation fee, and up to 10g of the clinic’s own brand cannabis flower. Clinic refers to the chosen clinic to be applied through under the advice of BCC admin staff – BCC reserves the right to change the chosen clinic if and when necessary, in which case winners will be informed in due time.]
1. The winner/s will be decided by BCC Admin on or before the last day of June 2022. As a result of this, if you have any connections, relatives or otherwise associated within the BCC Admin team, please declare this as soon as possible so that we can address any conflicts of interest.
2. No fee will be paid in exchange for entry into the draw – application is via email to the BCC email address only, to include a brief description of why the applicant thinks they deserve the “prize”. We, as BCC, accept that access to healthcare should not be a “prize”. We are trying to raise awareness of the financial discrimination against therapeutic cannabis consumers in the UK. This is the best that we can do, at present.
3. A maximum of three winners will be selected by the BCC team during this first run. BCC expects to continue offering these draws, should the first one be successful.
4. A maximum cost-cap will be applied to the prescription, to exceed no more than 10g of the clinic’s own brand cannabis flower. We want to be able to provide for those in need, but we must be able to do so sustainably. This is the sustainable limit to our current finances. Should the winner wish to purchase more than 10g on their first prescription, they may do so by topping up with their own money. This is to ensure the sustainability of our offer, and of BCC itself.
5. One application per person. Multiple nominations for the same person will be counted as one, but all submitted text will be addressed individually.
6. People may apply for themselves, or nominate a chosen individual for the “prize”. This must be stated in the application email, or in a reply to this message.
7. The “prize” itself includes the following: One initial consultation with a cannabis clinic in the UK; and one month of prescribed cannabis medication. A limit of 10g of the clinic’s own brand cannabis flower will be applied to the winner’s prescription.
8. BCC Admin staff will liaise with the clinic and winner/s to ascertain whether or not individuals will be selected – if after this communication it is decided that the clinic route is not appropriate, BCC will endeavour to find alternative (and legal) routes of action.
9. BCC Admin staff reserve the right to refuse winners their “prize” under the following circumstances (which may happen before, during or after the application process):
– If the applicant/winner is in any way abusive or violent towards BCC Admin staff
– If the applicant/winner is found to be ineligible for a legal cannabis prescription
– If the applicant/winner should lose their faculties, or be in any other way decided “non compos mentis”
10. There is no exchange option for the “prize”, neither in product nor in monetary value.
11. BCC reserves the right to cancel, postpone or stop the application process at any time – we assure you that we will not do this unless absolutely necessary.
12. After receipt of the “prize” absolutely no exchange, neither in kind nor in monetary value, may be obtained from BCC.
13. All applicants must apply to the chosen clinic themselves – BCC Admin staff can advise according to their expertise and knowledge, but all applications will be done in the applicant/winner’s name.
14. BCC aims to raise awareness of legal, prescribed cannabis in the UK. As such, unless declared in response to this email, applicants and/or winners agree to their anonymous inclusion in future press/media releases from BCC in any and/or all of their digital and physical presences. Winners/participants can easily opt out of this by sending a brief email in response to this message saying “I do not consent to my anonymous information being used in future BCC publications.” Should applicants/winners wish to be included without anonymity, they may respond with the following: “I am happy for my name to be used in future publications by BCC.”