Gibraltar Cannabis Legalisation Update

The British overseas territory Gibraltar, on Spain’s south coast, legalised the use of medical cannabis for certain medical conditions early last week.

The territory has ruled that medical practitioners working for the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) will be able to supply cannabis-based products to patients given that they have completed prior mandatory training around the appropriate use of such products. This training is also going to be occasionally supplemented by updated training in the years following the initial schooling so that practitioners remain aware of any updates that would affect their prescription process and the well-being of their patients.

The use of cannabis-based products is only permitted for the treatment of certain conditions however. These include:

· The treatment of moderate to severe muscle spasticity in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis where the patient in question has been unaided by prior use of standard medications

· Drug resistant and severe refractory epilepsy

· Chemotherapy related intractable nausea and vomiting that persists despite the use of regular treatment

· Severe pain that is not lessened by the use of increasingly strong pain-control medication

Such treatment will only be available from St. Bernard’s hospital however, and the specific products used must be approved by the GHA as safe and effective before they can be prescribed to patients under the new guidelines. These guidelines also state that patients should not administer their products through smoking.

While the increasing prevalence of cannabis friendly legislation seems like a step in a positive direction, only time will tell however if Gibraltar’s new amendments to the former 2005 Drugs (Misuse) Regulations prove to be more beneficial for the territory’s patients than the U.K’s current amendments which, although initially promising, have helped very few U.K nationals obtain the medical cannabis treatment they seek.

For more information on this topic, take a look at our evidence base, a ground-breaking systematic review of the history of research in this area and a global first-of-its-kind searchable database for clinical referencing.

The rest of our comprehensive resources on medical cannabis are available on our website. We urge anyone considering the use of medical cannabis products to consult with a trained medical professional prior to beginning use.

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