This guide is for new patients who have recently signed up for a cannabis clinic, with information on what to expect after a first consultation. In England and Scotland new patient cases are typically reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT), with practices differing slightly in Wales which instead requires two specialists to sign-off on starting treatment. Patients typically wait 2-7 days for approval, though in some circumstances patients have been known to be approved by the next-day.
"A multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a group of health and care staff who are members of different organisations and professions (e.g. GPs, social workers, nurses), that work together to make decisions regarding the treatment of individual patients and service users. MDTs are used in both health and care settings." — NHS England
Once approved, your prescription will be sent to your chosen pharmacy, whose responsibility it is to dispense and deliver your medication.
If you do not receive a digital copy of your prescription from your clinic, be sure to request one. While some pharmacies provide prescription copies either on an online portal, or as part of the physical medication package - not all do. If you're ever queried by law enforcement on the validity of your prescription, you want to ensure you have a copy of your prescription easily accessible at all times.
- You may receive a sign-up email for your chosen pharmacy/dispensary, this typically requires another identification check where you'll need to upload a documentation photo/scan. This can add an extra day or two delay for approval in some cases. You will then be sent an itemised online invoice for your prescription, and be prompted to pay online. (or)
You may receive a registration call from your pharmacy, whereby you will be informed of the cost of your prescription, be asked to pay - and can further query delivery times (pharmacy dependent.)
- Your pharmacy legally must wait for a paper copy of your prescription before dispensing your medication, and this can add a couple of days additional delay. If your product is immediately available from pharmacy stocks, it will often be sent out on a next-day delivery service, or if not in-stock you may need to wait an additional 3-4 working days for your medication to arrive there. Your legal prescription cannabis will be delivered to you by standard courier services, and may require a signature for delivery.
- With most couriers and pharmacies, tracking will be sent over by email once dispatched. However, some pharmacies do not yet provide email notification of dispatch - with patients having to check by phone.
Warnings Regarding Paper Prescription Requirements
Due to strict rules and regulations dispensing pharmacy specials, the pharmacy must wait for a physical paper copy of your prescription to arrive before dispatching - any mistake on your written prescription can cause several days delay receiving your medication requiring a 'rewrite.' If your prescription hasn't been dated correctly; a product hasn't been referenced corrected; perhaps it's been left unsigned; or a misspelt name or address - your doctor/clinic will have to issue a new corrected prescription, and your pharmacy will have to wait for it to arrive before dispensing.
Similarly if a product is out of stock or otherwise unavailable, dispensing of your medication must wait until an amended prescription is received by your pharmacy. In this instance, it's advisable to contact your clinic and make arrangements on alternative products which are suitable. Some clinics have strict policies and may request another formal consultation for changes to your prescription, others will use their own judgement as to whether a medication can be changed due to unavailability.