Australian medical cannabis company Emerald Clinics has partnered with Canopy Growth, aiming to introduce a ‘real-world evidence’ system into the UK.
Emerald Clinics (ASX EMD) is a publicly listed medical cannabis company here in Australia have recently partnered with Spectrum Biomedical UK (a Canopy Growth subsidiary) to conduct research.
Throughout the next few months, they’ll be testing various doses and prescribed uses of cannabis medications on UK patients. Hopefully, these trials should pave the way for legislation that dismantles the over-regulation currently present in the UK medical cannabis industry.
Despite medical cannabis being legalised back in 2018, UK patients have only filled less than 100 prescriptions. With no subsidy from the National Health Service, the majority of patients are paying out of pocket – costing a small fortune.
Currently, medical cannabis in the UK is only recommended under two illnesses: childhood epilepsy and chemotherapy-related pain and nausea. In both cases, physicians are only to prescribe medical cannabis after all conventional medications have failed. Expecting an influx of medical cannabis patients, over 1,000 doctors have even undergone specialised training conducted by the Academy of Medical Cannabis.
Nearly two years later, this influx is yet to happen.
Despite this, the British Pain Society has been pushing for wider access to the drug, arguing that more trials should be conducted on pain patients in the UK. One of these trials was launched last week, run by Project Twenty21. By the end of 2021, the project expects the UK to have over 20,000 medical cannabis patients. Talking about the problem, Project Twenty21’s founder Professor David Nutt told The Guardian:
Patients are left untreated, in significant debt from the cost of private prescriptions, or criminalised as they are forced to turn to the black market. They don’t deserve any of this.
A report earlier this year confirmed Professor Nutt’s statement, finding that over 1.4 million people in the UK are currently using cannabis for a medical issue. Earlier this year, a Prohibition Partners also valued the UK medical cannabis market at £1 billion by 2024.
While Emerald Clinics research won’t fix the UK’s medical cannabis conundrum, it may at least lead to more clinical research into cannabinoid drugs.
As of Wednesday the 12th, Emerald Clinics is up 12.73%, at $0.062.