Medicinal cannabis legislation (FOI)
Medicinal cannabis legislation (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 20 August 2018.
Can you please provide the full brief given to the law draftsman's office regarding medical cannabis, Bedrocan and Tilray?
Can you please confirm exactly what the timeline is for the completion of their work having had this amendment with them since the end of February / beginning of March?
And finally with the MDAC, chief pharmacist and both the current and previous health ministers agreeing on Cannabis: The evidence for medical use #BarnesReport can you explain why only certain cannabis products are currently being looked at and not cannabis itself? Surely cannabis is either a schedule one substance with no medical value or cannabis holds medical value and therefore must be rescheduled to reflect the evidence.
The brief sent to the law draftsman is reproduced below:
You will no doubt be aware of the ongoing debate regarding the potential use of cannabis based products for medicinal purposes. The Health Minister has indicated a willingness to reclassify certain cannabis based products under the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978 such that it would be legal for doctors to prescribe them. On 13 February the Minister accepted recommendations from the Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council to reclassify a limited range of products.
Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978: Amendment: Law drafting instructions - Cannabis Based Products
Cannabis is currently in Schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs (General Provisions) (Jersey) Order 2009 and also in the Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs (Designation) (Jersey) Order 1989. Products / Substances are controlled in this way as they have no recognised medicinal use which is now not the case for certain cannabis based products. The intention is to classify the medicinal cannabis products listed below such that they can be prescribed by a doctor who is licensed to do so and imported and dispensed by a pharmacy licensed to do so. Patients should also be able to obtain a licence to import / export from Jersey. At this stage the ability to control who can prescribe, import and supply needs to be maintained by means of some form of licensing or authorisation by the Minister.
The original thought was to reclassify them in the same manner as Sativex by placing them in Schedule 4 to the Misuse of Drugs (General Provisions) (Jersey) Order 2009 and removing them from control under the Designation Order. However this would in theory enable any doctor to prescribe and any pharmacy to import and dispense and would not provide the controls recommended by the MDAC. Placing them in Schedule 2 or 3 would similarly not provide the controls required as any doctor can prescribe any drug in these schedules and all pharmacies are licensed to import all drugs in these schedules.
The specific products to be reclassified are
Bedrocan, Bedrobinol, Bediol, Bedica and Bedrolite supplied by The Office of Medicinal Cannabis, Postbus 16114, 2500 BC Den Haag, The Netherlands
THC10, THC25, THC10:CBD10, THC25:CBD25 supplied by Tilray, 1100 Maughan Road, Nanaimo, BC, V9X 1J2, Canada
I am not clear whether or not you would need a more detailed / scientific description of these products (as with Sativex) for the purpose of reclassifying – if so please let me know.
In essence these products should be subject to the same controls as Schedule 4 substances but with the additional measures whereby doctors and pharmacies need to be licensed specifically to prescribe, import and supply them.
I would be grateful for your consideration of the above and would be more than happy to meet to discuss further. If you need this information in a letter rather than email please let me know
No fixed deadline has been set other than a commitment to bring forward the amending legislation as soon as is practically possible.
The advice from the MDAC to the Health Minister was that only products produced to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards should be considered for medicinal use. Products produced to GMP standards provide the necessary assurances regarding the quality of the product if it is to be used for medicinal purposes. The advice excluded the use of herbal cannabis and this was therefore not considered. Both Tilray and Bedrocan products are produced to GMP standards which is why these specific products are being rescheduled.
This is consistent with the recommendations of the Barnes Report which concluded that “We consider that the evidence firmly suggests that cannabis should be a legal product for medicinal use, as long as the quality of the product is guaranteed and the supply chain secured and that medical users are, as far as possible and practicable, entered into proper long term studies of both efficacy and side effects”.