Medical cannabis in the workplace – everything you need to know

Medical cannabis in the workplace – everything you need to know
Cannabis Health News

Dr Simon Erridge, head of research and access at Sapphire Medical Clinics, explores everything you need to know about medicinal cannabis in the workplace. Medical cannabis was rescheduled in the UK over four years ago (November 1st 2018) allowing for it to be prescribed for eligible patients by a specialist prescriber on the General Medical Council’s specialist register. Since then, it has seen an increase year on year in the numbers of patients it is being prescribed for. Cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) can only be started by specialist doctors if alternative treatments have been tried without providing adequate symptom relief.  Whilst the true figure is not known, it is estimated that approximately 20,000 people in the UK are accessing medical cannabis on prescription in the UK. Data from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry suggests that over 60% of prescriptions for medical cannabis in the UK are for chronic pain. However sadly, patients being prescribed medical cannabis, may face a lack of understanding and stigma from society including family, friends, employers and even from healthcare professionals. In fact, a study we performed in conjunction with colleagues at the University of the West of Scotland highlighted that 84.4% of surveyed medical cannabis patients perceived themselves to be subject to stigma. It is commonly accepted that this stigma can reduce utilisation of healthcare services and can negatively impact care. Whilst the situation is continuing to improve all the time it’s important for us all to understand more about medical cannabis, including the rights of patients in the workplace. What’s the legality around medicinal cannabis at work? There are statutory safeguards to allow people to take prescribed medication at work if required, and this includes medical cannabis. However, medical cannabis must always be taken as prescribed by an appropriately trained clinician. As an employer…

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