Regulators have approved Scotland’s first medicinal cannabis clinic.
Stirling’s Sapphire Medical Clinics has been authorised by Healthcare Improvement Scotland to provide safe access to medical cannabis to Scottish patients.
Business Insider reports that the private clinic is offering virtual appointments from today and will be offering face-to-face consultations when coronavirus restrictions allow it.
The central belt surgery will now be the first with it initially planned for the first clinic to be in Aberdeen.
In November 2018, medical cannabis was legalised in the UK to allow doctors to prescribe it in certain situations.
Cannabis-based medicines can be considered for a vast range of conditions, including arthritis, anxiety and epilepsy.
It can also be prescribed to patients whom have tried standard treatments with little relief of their symptoms, or where traditional medicine is providing relief but with an unsustainable level of side effects.
Sapphire Medical was the first clinic granted approval in the UK after it received approval by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England.
Health Improvement Scotland is understood to have also signed off on the plan.
Its Scottish clinic will be located in Allan Park, Stirling, although it was initially planning to open in Aberdeen first.
It will also be offering a scheme to help patients who are unable to pay the expensive costs to use the clinic to those enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry.
Andie Connolly-Brown lives in Edinburgh and suffers with complex PTSD and anxiety for which she has tried a range of conventional therapies.
She said: “Having access to medical cannabis is a lifeline for me, so today’s news that Sapphire Medical Clinics are now registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland is timely – my anxiety in particular has been made worse by the Covid-19 lockdown so safe and affordable access to medical cannabis is welcome.”
Dr Mikael Sodergren, managing director of Sapphire Medical, commented: “We are delighted to be the first clinic to be registered with HIS [Healthcare Improvement Scotland] which is a testament to the robust clinical governance framework we have established in evaluating patients for treatment with medical cannabis.
“By capturing clinical outcomes through the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, we will significantly contribute to the evidence base and ultimately allow more patients to benefit from medical cannabis as a treatment option.”