In March 2021, Sapphire Medical Clinics (“Sapphire Medical”), a multi-award-winning medical cannabis clinic, announced it had received Scotland’s first Healthcare Improvement Scotland (“HIS”) registration to safely prescribe medical cannabis to patients across the country. It is the only regulated clinic to prescribe medical cannabis in Scotland and in its very first week welcomed more than 500 new patients across Scotland via remote telemedicine consultations.
Once COVID restrictions are lifted, Sapphire Medical will also offer Scottish patient’s face-to-face appointments at One Allan Park Wellbeing Clinic, a multi-disciplinary clinic located in the heart of Scotland in the city of Stirling.
Including Scottish patient data in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry is essential to accurately grow the evidence base for medical cannabis prescribing.
Welcoming the news is Stirling MP Alyn Smith who commented, “I am delighted to welcome Sapphire Medical Clinics to Scotland as the first and only registered clinic to prescribe medical cannabis. The Stirling-based clinic, which is accessible from the surrounding areas, provides patients who suffer from conditions, such as chronic pain and anxiety, the opportunity to access this treatment. Growing the evidence base is vital to further improve patient access to medical cannabis and having met the team at Sapphire, I am pleased to see that Scottish patients will now be contributing to their comprehensive national registry database. I am confident that together we can bring about greater access to medical cannabis and really change lives.”
Patients, such as Andrew, 42 from Edinburgh, are thankful to have access to treatment. He shares, “I am grateful to now have the opportunity to access medical cannabis via Sapphire Medical Clinics for my persistent pain condition. The service has been very smooth and I have been kept informed throughout the process. I hope to be able to use less of the opioid medication I have been stuck with for many years.”
Background on Scotland via Sapphire Medical YouGov poll…
In March 2021, Sapphire Medical commissioned a poll around the UK population’s understanding of CBD through YouGov. Scotland statistics include:
– 23% (1.26m) of the population say the main barrier to medical cannabis access is the lack of certainty if it is legal, over two years after it was made legal
– 9% (491k) of the population is taking over the counter or prescribed CBD products
– A staggering 85% (4.64m) of the population doesn’t know that medical cannabis is less expensive than over the counter wellness CBD
In relation to the YouGov poll, Dr. Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director & Academic Lead at Sapphire Medical, commented, “The statistics clearly highlight the need for further education around medical cannabis, illustrated by the fact that almost a quarter of the population are still unaware that medical cannabis is legal.
“To bridge this education chasm, Sapphire Medical established the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, which is a comprehensive, prospective registry designed to collate outcomes of medical cannabis therapy. The aim of the registry is to expand our understanding of medical cannabis as a treatment in the UK, by collecting and analysing clinical data, and I am thrilled that Scottish patients will be contributing to the advancement of this.”
In February 2023, Sapphire Medical Clinics were informed that Health Improvement Scotland would no longer regulate virtual healthcare services who have their headquarters outside of Scotland. Sapphire Medical Clinics still retains an address at One Allan Park, Stirling and continues to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission.