Belfast Telegraph

Medicinal cannabis at the chemists from today

Charlotte Caldwell with son Billy
Charlotte Caldwell with son Billy

By Cate McCurry

Cannabis-based medicinal products will be available in Northern Ireland from today.

The products can only be obtained if they have been prescribed by a specialist hospital doctor. The Department of Health (DoH) says patients must have an unmet clinical need.

The move follows a campaign for the relaxation of regulations around cannabis-based products for medicinal use.

Billy Caldwell (13), of Castlederg, Co Tyrone, made headlines when his medicinal cannabis was confiscated by the Home Office after a trip to Canada to access the medication.

Billy suffers from a severe form of epilepsy and his mother Charlotte says medicinal cannabis products help to ease his symptoms. She spent years campaigning for the law change.

The Home Office then gave him a short-term licence and the DoH issued an emergency licence to allow him access to cannabis oil medication.

Belfast Health Trust secured a licence to administer the medication to Billy at the Royal Victoria Hospital. He was then given permission to receive the medication at his Castlederg home.

Last month Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a decision to reschedule the products, relaxing the rules around the circumstances in which they can be given to patients.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph