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Care Quality Commission

CQC registers first standalone medical cannabis clinic

To be seen at the Sapphire Medical Clinic, patients must be referred to the clinic by their GP, or by a specialist consultant.

Harley Street

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A location-specific CQC registration for a clinic on Harley Street, London, is expected within the next two weeks

The Sapphire Medical Clinic has become the first dedicated medical cannabis clinic in the UK to be registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The clinic, which says its aims are to “enable access to medicinal cannabis for patients who will derive clinical benefit”, was registered by the CQC on 3 October 2019.

In a press release issued by the clinic on 4 October 2019, medical cannabis will be offered “for all conditions acknowledged to benefit from it … as part of a comprehensive treatment pathway, including other conventional pharmaceutical drugs and treatments”.

A spokesperson for Sapphire Medical Clinics said on 9 October 2019 that a location-specific CQC registration for a clinic on Harley Street, London, was expected within the next two weeks. The company also says it intends to open clinics in Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham.

Mikael Sodergren, managing director and academic lead at Sapphire Clinics, said the CQC registration meant the clinic “can now be the lifeline for GPs who are not permitted to prescribe themselves, but who think their patients could benefit from medical cannabis”.

Initial consultations at the clinic start from £250, with follow-up consultations costing £150. Patients must be referred to the clinic by their GP, or by a specialist consultant.

Asked by The Pharmaceutical Journal whether the clinic had any plans to offer consultations on the NHS, a spokesperson said that Sapphire Clinics was currently exploring partnerships with the NHS.

The first clinic to offer medical cannabis to patients, which is run by Medical Cannabis Clinics, opened in Manchester in March 2019. This clinic is based within the Beeches Consulting Centre, Cheadle, and operates within the CQC rating of that centre.

Medical Cannabis Clinics said it was currently awaiting CQC registration for a London-based standalone clinic

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207178

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