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FAQ's about cannabis based products medicinal [CBPM] Import Licences for individuals

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How long will it take for me to receive my licence?


Approximately 10-14 working days (not including weekends) from the date the last piece of complete and accurate information is received.
It is essential that the both the Application and Prescription received contain content that is complete and accurate first time.
Errors made in the Application or Prescription take considerable time for the team to query.
Senior clinicians who do the verification have limited time among their other responsibilities to sign licences.

How do I ensure that my licence is processed efficiently?


What slows down the licensing process?


If I consider my case urgent, what can I do?


Please be aware that approximately 80% of our applicants contact us to flag their cases as urgent. The team processes licences in the order of applications received. Those containing errors or omissions fall back in the queue. Your application is not processed until all information is complete and accurate.

Can I call the licensing team to speed things up?


Our team can no longer take inbound calls since they are busy with issuing licences. Be aware that the licensing team has hundreds of files to deal with at any given time. There are periodic processing delays due to unexpected volumes, or time-consuming cases, and occasionally, staff illness.

Please only email Cannabis Licensing with your name in the subject line in extraordinary circumstances. You will have provided telephone number on the Application in case the team needs to contact you. If the matter pertains to your UK prescriber or pharmacy, please contact them directly.

Why does the licensing process seem to be so complex?


Provision of an import licence for a controlled substance is a legal process. It is therefore essential that all relevant and accurate detail is collected and verified before an import licence can be issued. Any errors slow this process.

Experience has been that many prescriptions are either unreadable or contain errors which will be rejected by the Home Office when they issue corresponding export licences to the UK pharmacy. Our team is therefore obliged to chase these errors for correction, which can add several days to the licensing process.

My licence has an expiry date?  What does that mean?


It means that the product imported under that licence cannot legally be in your possession after that date.  You are assumed to have used it up during the licensing period. 

If I am ordering on behalf of a relative, what additional permissions do I need?


The licensing team will require an email from the patient's own email, or a telephone number at which to contact the patient if they are unable to use a computer, in order to consent to another person communicating on their behalf in an application for a cannabis based medicinal product import licence. It is advisable for any patient to inform their GP of their CBPM consumption.

What happens if my prescription is rejected by the Guernsey clinicians?


If a UK prescription does not appear to be appropriate in any way, our Duty of Care requires that we inquire with the prescriber to clarify their intent. This occurs in approximately 5% of cases and is extremely time consuming.
Prescriptions will be queried for a number of reasons but also include requests that are frequent prescriptions or from multiple doctors.
Individuals are reminded that they are only allowed to import sufficient product to serve their own personal needs within a time frame.


What happens if nearly 28 days are past since the prescription's date?


If the application and prescription are completed accurately the first time, then this should not happen.

Please remember that a UK Controlled Drug prescription is only legally valid for 28 days, so you need to obtain the licence within that 28 days. Otherwise, you will need to obtain a more recent prescription from your doctor.

However, the import licence, once issued and dated, is valid for 60 days from the date of the original prescription.

Why am I not allowed to import cannabis directly from countries not under UK medicines regulation?


Only doctors on the GP or Specialist registers in the UK are eligible under Guernsey law to prescribe medicinal cannabis products, and only UK pharmacies are eligible to supply UK-prescribed product allowed by the UK-MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency].

What is the Fair Processing Notice?


This notice is linked on the website on the Medicinal Cannabis import licence page. It describes the use and storage of patient data in accordance with GDPR data protection laws.

Where can I learn more about taking CBPM?


Any information or advice pertaining to a prescription for CBPM should come from your UK prescriber. He or she is entirely responsible for the safety of your prescription under their own General Medical Council licence. Your local GP should be made aware by you that you are using CBPM to ensure that any medications you are prescribed locally are safe to take at the same time.

What hours do the licensing teams work?


The team works normal weekday business hours. The cannabis-licensing email is not monitored outside of business hours.

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