The doctor’s perspective: becoming a medical cannabis prescriber
Cannabis Health News
In a new series a UK cannabis prescriber shares what he has learned on his journey so far. Here, consultant psychiatrist and cannabis clinician, Dr Tahzid Ahsan, explores the history and science of cannabis as a medicine and the practicalities of becoming a prescriber in the UK. When I first embarked on my journey through medical cannabis prescribing, I assumed that there were plenty of well-versed protocols and a neat manual for new prescribers. I was very wrong indeed. Back in September 2020 there were a handful of medical cannabis clinics that had been established nationwide, with only two pharmacies. I decided to join The Medical Cannabis Clinics (TMCC) as it was the most established clinic at the time. This is a fairly new and emerging industry within modern medicine, where the clinical prescribing information available is sparse. There was no formal application process, I contacted the clinic myself to be put through to the operational lead. I undertook their training and onboarding process, including a day with Professor Mike Barnes, who I consider the founding inspiration of the UK medical cannabis industry. Professor Barnes is a consultant neurologist and a medical cannabis expert with over 20 years experience. He is a staunch advocate for medicinal cannabis and bravely and successfully campaigned for the law to be changed in 2018 with his ground-breaking report on the evidence for medical cannabis for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform. As an initiator of a medical cannabis prescription, a medical professional must complete speciality training to become a consultant and be formally registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). My own speciality is in General Adult and Rehabilitation Psychiatry. During your training you are supported to gain an official prescriber’s validation pin so you are certified to issue prescriptions. You are…
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