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The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is pleased to announce that the Primary Care Cannabis Network (PCCN) has become a part of our Society. This is an important step forward in our mission to normalise the conversation around medical cannabis and increase clinician knowledge of this treatment in the UK. We look forward to working together towards our shared goals.

Continuing and developing the work of the PCCN

The PCCN was set up in November 2019 by GP Dr Leon Barron to provide GP education in medical cannabis. Striving to increase knowledge and open dialogue, the PCCN worked to create an environment of balance and understanding around this rapidly developing field of medicine within primary healthcare. Its goals – to eradicate stigma associated with medical cannabis and improve the primary care sector’s comfort in discussing treatment options with patients – are aligned with the vision and mission of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society.

In order to better meet our joint goals, the Society has welcomed the PCCN and its members into the Society. By educating and supporting general practitioners (GPs) with current guidelines and evidence-based medicine, the Society can ensure that primary care providers have access to the most up to date resources to enable informed conversations with patients.

The integration of the PCCN with the Society will give every clinician the opportunity to be part of the biggest network of healthcare professionals dedicated to expanding access to medical cannabis treatment through education and support.

The role of GPs in the widespread understanding of medical cannabis as a treatment option

As the frontline in patient access to specialist clinicians, GPs have a crucial role to play in the understanding and acceptance of medical cannabis as a treatment option for patients in the UK. 

Learn more

Why should GPs be open minded about talking to patients who are self medicating with cannabis in the UK?

GPs should be open minded about talking to patients who are self medicating with cannabis because it is becoming increasingly accepted in the UK as an effective means of treating various health conditions. 

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Can GPs prescribe medical cannabis in the UK?

Currently in the UK, prescriptions for unlicensed cannabis based medicines can only be initiated by a doctor on the GMC specialist register (consultants) and must be initiated on a private prescription. Unlike most other countries across the globe where medical cannabis is legal, current UK legislation does not permit GPs to initiate treatment for medical cannabis. However, GPs can play an important role in the management and monitoring of their patient’s use of medical cannabis, and a GP can prescribe under shared care arrangements under the direction of a specialist.

Learn more

Comprehensive education and support for GPs through the Society

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is an important resource for clinicians in regards to the education, peer support, and guidance related to medical cannabis use. Through the integration of the PCCN, a new sub group will be formed to provide GP focussed education and peer support.

All the resources from the PCCN will be available via the Society website. This includes access to evidence-based information and practical resources.

In addition, the Society will provide opportunities for GPs to network with peers and discuss the opportunities for GP prescribing of medical cannabis within a supportive environment.

PCCN Members – Join the Society today

Joining the Society provides GPs with access to training and resources from leading experts in the field. In addition, members can benefit from ongoing support and guidance on prescribing medical cannabis, as well as staying up to date with changing regulations. The Society also organises regular events for members to exchange ideas and discuss best practices in medical cannabis.

As members, GPs can ensure they are up to date with the latest evidence-based information in this field and help their patients access effective medical cannabis treatments.

Current members of the PCCN are invited to become members of the Society at no cost for the first year of membership.

Join now

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society recently endorsed and participated in the 2nd International Congress on Clinical Trials on Cannabis (CT-Cann2023), an education and scientific conference aimed at clinicians and researchers working in the field of medical cannabis. This conference was an excellent opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with others and learn from our peers about the latest developments and research in this rapidly-evolving field.

At MCCS, we are committed to providing education and support for clinicians on the safe and effective use of medical cannabis to improve patient outcomes. We believe that education and collaboration among healthcare professionals is critical to achieving this goal. That is why we were not only delighted to participate in this conference but also to endorse the event.

During the conference, we had the opportunity to hear from leading experts in the field of medical cannabis research, policy, and practice, including Dr David Finn, Dr Silviu Brill, Prof Dedi Meiri, Dr Staci Gruber and Dr Haggai Sharon.

During the conference, we were pleased to have several members of the MCCS expert committee speak and share their knowledge with the audience. Prof Mike Barnes opened the conference with an overview of the current UK status of medical cannabis in the UK and the challenges. We believe that this discussion was particularly valuable for clinicians developing their prescribing practice. Vice-Chair, Dr. Dani Gordon, presented on the research findings on cannabis and long COVID, which was a topic of great interest to many attendees. Dr. Gordon’s presentation highlighted the potential benefits of using medical cannabis to manage long-term symptoms of COVID-19. We also had the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Niraj Singh, who spoke about the MCCS, our vision and mission, and the practical support we provide to our members. Dr. Singh gave a helpful overview of the tools and resources that MCCS members have access to, such as our educational program, clinical guidelines, and peer support network. This presentation was particularly relevant for clinicians who are new to the field of medical cannabis, as it provided an overview of the support available to them as they navigate this complex and rapidly-evolving field.

We appreciated the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with other attendees and to learn from our peers. As the medical cannabis industry continues to develop, we believe that collaboration and education among healthcare professionals is more important than ever.

We are committed to continuing to endorse and participate in conference and other like it to have the opportunity to engage with other clinicians and researchers working in the field of medical cannabis. We believe that this type of event, which brings together a diverse group of healthcare professionals, is essential for fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. As we move forward, we will keep working toward our goal of providing education and support for doctors who prescribe medical cannabis to improve patient outcomes.

New to medical cannabis prescribing?

We would like to invite clinicians who are interested in the field of medical cannabis to become members of the MCCS. As a member, you will have access to a wealth of educational resources and tools, as well as the opportunity to connect with other healthcare professionals working in this field. We are a supportive community of like-minded professionals, and we are committed to promoting safe and effective use of medical cannabis to improve patient outcomes.

To become a member of the MCCS, please join here. Our membership is open to all healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other allied healthcare professionals. We also offer student memberships for those who are currently studying healthcare professions.

We look forward to welcoming new members to the MCCS and working together to advance the field of medical cannabis education, research, policy, and practice.


The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is proud to officially endorse the 2nd International Congress on Clinical Trials on Cannabis, taking place on 15 & 16 February 2023 in London.

This unique conference – the only one of its kind in the UK – will inform participants of the latest evidence and concepts regarding cannabinoid therapy. It will aid prescribers to practically implement best practices based on the clinical implications of current research and expert opinions and serve as a platform for an exchange of ideas and practices in cannabinoid medicine.

Agenda and speakers

CT-Cann2023 will bring together global experts to discuss ways of improving current research strategies, new discoveries, practical dilemmas and future avenues in this rapidly evolving field. Ideal for MCCS members and those wishing to learn more about this treatment, the congress will include basic and clinical methodologies, new findings, regulatory and legal issues, pharmacological considerations, and technological advancements, emphasising practical implications for patients, researchers, prescribing clinicians and industry leaders.

The agenda is currently being confirmed with new speakers being added. The Preliminary speakers include:

The MCCS has secured a 15% discount for its members when you register before 21 December 2022. To become a member of the Society, join online today. 
Book Your Place

If you are a member and have not yet received the discount code, please contact us.

Call for Abstracts

The Congress Chairs invite the submission of original abstracts for Oral and/or Poster presentation – deadline 9 January 2023. Topics can include:

Virtual roundtable – watch again

On 13 December, international paediatric neurologists and medical cannabis experts came together for a panel discussion about the UK’s prescribing crisis for children with intractable epilepsy.

Hosted by the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, the roundtable discussion will reviewed the guidance, shed light on the concerns, and considered a way ahead for these children. The discussion provides doctors, clinicians, the wider paediatric medical community and parents of children with this condition accurate information about cannabis-based treatment.

Moderated by Dr Dani Gordon, Vice-Chair of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, panellists – including Canadian Paediatric Neurologists Dr Evan Lewis and Dr JP Appendino, Consultant Paediatrician Dr Jane Hailey and Paediatric Cannabis Consultant Dr Bonni Goldstein –  shared experiences, evidence and case studies for medical cannabis for intractable epilepsy and the difference this is making for children globally.

Epileptic seizure frequency fell by an average of 86% among 10 children treated with whole plant medicinal cannabis, reveals research by charity Drug Science and published in BMJ Paediatrics Open

None of the children had responded to other treatments, including the only cannabidiol (CBD) product licensed for their condition – Epidyolex. Whole plant cannabis includes tetrahydocannabinol or THC for short, the main active ingredient of the plant that is responsible for the characteristic ‘high’ associated with recreational use, plus cannabidiol, other neuroactive cannabinoids, and molecules such as terpenes.

Researchers evaluated the use of whole plant medicinal cannabis in 10 children whose severe epilepsy hadn’t responded to conventional treatment, and two of whom hadn’t responded to the only pharmaceutical grade, purified CBD oil licensed for the condition in children (Epidyolex).

The researchers assessed the percentage change in monthly seizure frequency and the impact of medicinal cannabis on changes in conventional epilepsy drug use. They also reported the strengths and doses used and the costs incurred.

All the participants were recruited from End Our Pain and MedCan Support, two charities representing children using medicinal cannabis to treat their severe epilepsy. The children’s average age was 6, but ranged from 1 to 13 years. They had a range of epilepsies and three had other concurrent issues, including infantile spasms, learning disabilities, and global developmental delay.

Monthly seizure frequency reduced for all 10 children by an overall average of 86%.

The Drug Science researchers said:

“We believe that our data on whole-plant medical cannabis in childhood-onset severe treatment-resistant epilepsy, provides evidence to support its introduction into the NHS within current NICE prescribing guidelines. 

“Such a move would be hugely beneficial to the families, who in addition to having the psychological distress of looking after their chronically ill children, have also to cover the crippling financial burden of their medication.”

The Society is dedicated to training and supporting doctors to prescribe medical cannabis where clinically appropriate, and recently vowed to train paediatric doctors for free in order to go some way towards alleviating the prescribing crisis for children with epilepsy.

Read the full publication



The BPNA recently produced new guidance on the prescription of cannabis medicines for children with epilepsy. However, the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society (UKMCCS) and Drug Science fundamentally disagree with this guidance. Expert clinicians from both organisations have produced a critique to provide commentary, evidence and further crucial information.

Download the commentary (PDF)

In the BPNA’s guidance, there is no recognition that the children in question have uncontrolled, drug-resistant epilepsy. They have a poor quality of life, often difficulties in school, in play and at home, and the whole family suffer from the consequences. In their commentary, the Society and Drug Science point out that recurrent seizures damage the developing brain and such severe seizures are associated with a risk of status epilepticus and death. The Society and Drug Science believe that clinicians must explore every avenue in an attempt to alleviate the seizures.

NICE guidance is now supportive of continuing prescription for those already on a cannabis product but sadly the BPNA will not change its stance on the subject. As a result, there are now only two prescribers, one of whom is retiring and neither of whom are taking on new patients.

This means over 50 children currently accessing their prescribed cannabis-based medicines are relying on just one doctor for continuing access to the only treatments that have kept them well and reduced hospital and ITU admissions. And, with no new children currently able to access a prescription, seriously ill children are at real risk of imminent harm.

Professor Mike Barnes, Chair of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society said:

“Professor Helen Cross was the first clinician to prescribe an unlicensed cannabis-based medicine for childhood epilepsy in 2013. That was a brave and correct move when a child was in extremis. It is a pity that the BPNA’s current executive committee members have reverted to an old and outdated paradigm of efficacy to the clear detriment of many thousands of children in the UK. The Society will teach any paediatric doctor – free of charge – how to prescribe medical cannabis products and provide ongoing mentoring and support.

We call for recognition of the value of unlicensed cannabis-based medicinal products by sensible and caring paediatricians in the UK.”

All medical practitioners, and in particular the BPNA executive committee, should note the General Medical Council “Good Medical Practice” principles. We specifically draw attention to these points:

David Badcock, Chief Executive Officer of Drug Science said:

“Our research into childhood intractable epilepsy clearly and consistently shows that the benefits of whole-plant medical cannabis far outweigh any associated risks.

The parents we have spoken to, as part of this work, find medical cannabis to be the most effective treatment for their child’s condition. Yet the BPNA appear to have ignored our evidence and these experiences. Instead, they seem to be wilfully denying access to legal medicines, and causing needless distress for families who deserve better.”

The Society and Drug Science call for recognition of the value of cannabis based medicinal products by sensible and caring paediatricians in the UK.


How to read the document

The original wording from the BPNA is retained in black. Our comments and additions are highlighted in green.


Free training and support for paediatricians

The Society will teach any paediatric doctor – free of charge – how to prescribe medical cannabis products and provide ongoing mentoring and support.

Please contact us to learn more.

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society’s Guide to CBD has been newly updated for 2021.

The expanded guidance supports doctors and clinicians who wish to understand how CBD works, what a good CBD product looks like, and how better to support patients who are taking CBD.

Version 2 of the guidance, written by the Society’s Dr Leon Barron, Vice-Chair Dr Dani Gordon and Chair, Prof Mike Barnes, has been supported by expert researchers at Bud & Tender.

Download the guide here.

On Thursday 21st October, join The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society and Bud & Tender as we explore what clinicians need to know about CBD. A fantastic live overview of the guide, this webinar will provide an overview of CBD for clinicians, including Endocannabinoid tone, modes of action and therapeutic effects, pharmacodynamics, different types of CBD oil available in the UK, controlled cannabinoids, Certificates of Analysis (COA’s) and dosing. We also summarise the current legal status of CBD in the UK.




Below is the text of an open letter which has been sent from the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society to The Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid.

Members of The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society have access to further information including prescribing guidelines, a secure online support network and events – covering what is needed to become a specialist prescriber of medical cannabis.

If you are a Paediatric Consultant of any discipline and would like to consider prescribing, we will provide free CPD-accredited training (online & face to face) and ongoing support and mentoring to you. Find out more about joining us

Open Letter, sent 4 October 2021

Dear Secretary of State for Health and Social Care,

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society (MCCS) was created in 2018 to support and educate clinicians who wish to prescribe medicinal cannabis in the UK. Today we write because of our considerable concern about the current situation regarding children with drug-resistant epilepsy who are denied NHS prescriptions for a medicine that has been shown to be life transforming for them.

There is now overwhelming evidence of the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for these children. A recent paper by Drug Science showed that there is a 96% chance of a child significantly improving after prescription of full spectrum cannabis. This is a remarkable statistic given that these children will have been resistant to all licensed anti-convulsant drugs, often suffering from hundreds of seizures weekly and experiencing a very poor quality of life combined with a risk of death. Although this was a relatively small UK study, similar outcomes have been demonstrated in many other larger international studies in children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Also, in more established medical cannabis markets such as Canada, US and Israel, there are now thousands of children with drug-resistant epilepsy who are being prescribed full spectrum products after licenced medications have failed to work, often with dramatic improvements in seizure control and quality of life.  Treating these children with conventional anti-epileptic medicines and other techniques is costing the NHS millions of pounds each year to care for them. However, when using medicinal cannabis products, many of them have remained at home and have had huge improvements in their seizure control and their cognitive development with consequential significant savings to the NHS in terms of pharmaceutical and hospital costs.

The British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) declares itself to be the professional medical body for paediatric neurologists.  Apart from a specific brand (which is not full spectrum) in very limited circumstances that has been through the conventional licencing system, the BPNA appears to be very much opposed to the prescription of medical cannabis products. From what we understand, they appear to want to see more evidence about safety and efficacy and are concerned that these ‘full spectrum’ products are unlicenced.

Both of these points are hard to understand.  By more evidence, we presume they mean evidence generated from Randomised Control Trials (RCTs).  However, full spectrum medical cannabis has many active ingredients and is therefore, by definition, not well suited to such trials. And they seem reluctant ‘in extremis’ to accept the enormous volume of real world and observational evidence. And the fact that a medicine is unlicenced is not a bar to its prescription. Unlicenced medicines are routinely prescribed for a range of conditions.

Our concern is that what appears to be a deeply entrenched and dogmatic position on this subject from the BPNA is effectively denying sick children access to an efficacious and safe medicine that may well reduce or even stop their seizures and immeasurably improve their quality of life and reduce their chance of death.  It is deterring private prescriptions and is playing a part in the almost total block on NHS prescriptions.  This block in turn is forcing many very vulnerable families to have to fundraise thousands of pounds a month to source the medicine privately.

The BPNA’s current guidance states that you must be a paediatric neurologist to prescribe.  But this is their view.  It is not based on law and as we show here is not supported by national guidance.

It is our understanding that such is their strength of feeling on this matter, that the BPNA have referred one doctor who was prescribing such medicines to the General Medical Council (GMC) on the basis that he was a paediatric rheumatologist rather than a paediatric neurologist. Thankfully after careful review this case has now been dropped.  The GMC found no fault and no further action will be taken.  With the permission of the doctor concerned we highlight the following quote from the contribution of the GMC’s own independent medical expert.

“Dr X appears to have provided adequate care to the families who consulted him, with evidence of benefit, and no evidence of harm. The BPNA position that only Paediatric Neurologists should initiate treatment is not supported by other national guidance, and probably not in the best interests of children, as it may impede debate and research into the appropriate use of Cannibidiols (sic) in refractory epilepsy”.

Currently, there are just two paediatric neurologists prescribing for children and one of them is retiring in October.  Soon, there will be only one prescriber for over 100 children currently being administered these medicines and many thousands more who might benefit. This is simply unacceptable and puts the children who have prescriptions at real risk from rebound seizures, if they lose their prescribers.

We are calling on members of both the BPNA and the wider paediatric community to:

  1. Question the current position of the BPNA and to consider real world evidence and to treat individual patients on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Take into account the recently clarified NICE guidance which now recognise that cannabis prescription is reasonable if all else has failed and a child has responded to the medicine – “Patients in this population can be prescribed cannabis-based medicinal products if the healthcare professional considers that that would be appropriate on a balance of benefit and risk, and in consultation with the patient, and their families and carers or guardian…. There is no recommendation against the use of cannabis-based medicinal products”.
  3. When clinically appropriate, advocate for and where possible deliver, the prescription of full spectrum medicines on the NHS.
  4. Avail themselves of the offer of the MCCS to train free of charge and mentor any paediatrician who wishes to prescribe. The MCCS have set up a Resistant Epilepsy Cannabis Assessment Panel (RECAP) to assess individual cases. This panel has national cannabis experts and international paediatric neurologists including Dr. Carter Snead, Dr.Evan Lewis and Dr. Richard Huntsman. Contact can be made by emailing [email protected].

We ask that you, as the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care:

  1. Support our calls to the medical paediatric community as above.
  2. Work with the NHS and the wider medical community, including the MCCS to ensure that the barriers currently blocking NHS prescriptions to the cohort of paediatric epilepsy patients are broken down.


Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society – Executive Committee and Members
Professor Michael Barnes (Chair) Consultant Neurologist & Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
Dr Evan Lewis Paediatric Neurologist (Canada)
Dr Sunil Arora Pain Consultant and Anaesthetist
Dr Danielle Gordon GP
Dr Leon Barron GP
Dr Niraj Singh Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Rebecca Moore Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Elizabeth Iveson Consultant Geriatrician
Dr Eliezar Okirie Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation
Dr Beverley Fairclough Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Nathan Hasson Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist
Dr Luisa Searle Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr A Suleman GP
Dr Adam Bentley GP
Dr Brian Birch Consultant Urologist
Dr Harrison Offiong GP
Dr Tahzid Ahsan Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Osama Hammer Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Jake Timothy Consultant Neurosurgeon and Spinal Surgeon
Dr Ron Velthuis GP (the Netherlands)
Dr Sandeep Bolia GP
Dr Gurprit Atwal Consultant Histopathologist and Medical Examiner
Dr Julia Piper GP
Dr Prabha Moorti Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Jen Anderson GP (Canada)
Dr Iqbal Mohiuddin Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Andrew Sanger Bowen GP
Dr Elaine Tickle GP
Dr A J Wallis GP
Dr David Howells Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Vimal Sivasanker Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Anup Mathew Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Caroline Bealing GP
Dr Maria Kallikourdi Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Andrew Bradford Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation
Dr Mark Smith GP
Dr Sharon Hadley GP
Dr Robert Greig Consultant in Emergency Medicine
Dr Naheem Bashir GP
Dr Anthony Ordman Consultant in Pain Medicine
Dr David Tang Consultant in Emergency Medicine
Dr Charlotte Cocks GP
Dr Neil Wright GP
Dr Graham Sanderson GP
Dr Sudha Balakrishnan Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
Dr Lauren Kelly Scientific Director, Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trials
Dr Tahira Ellahi Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Simmi Sachdeva-Mohan Consultant Psychiatrist


Medical Cannabis Awareness Week 2020

During Medical Cannabis Awareness Week 2020, 1 – 8 November, we are supporting PLEA’s call for patients, doctors, colleagues from across the sector, friends and supporters to fight for fair access to medical cannabis, using the hashtag #MCAW2020.

During Medical Cannabis Awareness Week, PLEA is:

It’s time to end the inequality and ensure everyone who needs it has the opportunity to benefit from medical cannabis treatment. Medical Cannabis Awareness Week will take place during the first week of November every year. Visit for ideas about how you can get involved.

Take part

Society Chair Prof Mike Barnes and Dr Elie Okirie are hosting a special webinar for clinicians interested in supporting patients with medical cannabis treatments.

Register here – healthcare professionals only, please:


The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is a physician and expert-led nonprofit society dedicated to the education of clinicians on the topic of medical cannabis and therapeutic cannabinoids dedicated to supporting the medical and scientific community in the UK and globally with high-quality education, peer support and training to benefit patients who are suitable for this class of medication as an option.

We’re seeking Masters-level Information & Library Studies Research Student to lead a project for the Society.

The project

As our main remit is education, we aim to provide a searchable research database for medical cannabis and cannabinoid studies that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. This ranges from case reports and observational data sets through to RCTs and meta-analysis searchable by keyword or clinical/therapeutic area where cannabinoid-based medicines are being used.

In Canada, Vice-Chair Dr. Gordon worked with a master of library studies research student from the University of British Columbia in Canada on creating such a database for another area of medicine and this project was very successful.  We hope to complete a similar project with a student here in the UK. In the past, Dr. Gordon acted as the clinical mentor/supervisor for the student over two semesters and the project was completed as part of their curriculum.  The student was able to gain successful employment upon graduation immediately using this project as the showcase in their portfolio and recommendations from Dr. Gordon as well as being able to show their work on leading this project.

Why it is needed

Currently, there is no unbiased source of information for clinicians where they can search for the most up to date and also the most relevant peer-reviewed research in this topic area, which is still quite new and considered by many, a controversial area of medicine.

This service and capability is absolutely essential to ensuring clinicians have up-to-date information at their fingertips to help support their prescribing decisions in this area and keep abreast of new studies and findings to guide both clinical decisions as well as support policy change and continuing medical education needs.  Currently, many patients seeking medical cannabis for a treatment-resistant chronic illness in the UK are coming to their doctors knowing more about the published evidence base than their clinician.

Why we need you

The MCCS is run on a volunteer basis by leading expert physicians who also work full-time in their practices and do not have the database building technical skill set or time scales for the completion of this project.  Because we are a not-for-profit organisation with limited funds, we are unable to seek out a commercial partner to complete this project.

Apply now

To apply for the position, please contact the Society by emailing [email protected] with a cover letter which details your interest and qualifications. Expenses will be paid as part of this work and you will receive full support.