Medicinal Cannabis - Update

Date published: 27 July 2018


The rescheduling of cannabis-derived medicinal products is a devolved matter and as such requires legislative change in Northern Ireland. Consideration will now be given to rescheduling cannabis-derived medicinal products in Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK.

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In the interim, clinicians may still apply to the Home Office Expert Panel should they wish to use a cannabis-based medicine in the treatment of a patient.  This is to ensure that advice on licensing in these cases is clinically led, based firmly on medical evidence and that decisions are taken as swiftly as possible.

On the advice of the Expert Panel the Department of Health will endeavour to issue the relevant licences to support the patient’s treatment.  The Expert Panel began considering applications on 27 June 2018.

Under this process patients remain under the care of a specialist hospital based clinician during their treatment and the hospital is responsible for procuring and supplying their medicine.

The Department of Health notes the advice provided by experts during the two-part review of medicinal cannabis commissioned by the Home Secretary. 

Background briefing – cannabis, medicinal use and the law


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