November 16, 2023

Weeding out injustices & cultivating change: CIC launch medical cannabis patient survey


With 5 years of cannabis journalism behind her after graduating from De Montfort University and writing for cannabis publications such as The Cannavist, Lucy is a dedicated journalist passionate about cannabis education and culture.

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On the five-year anniversary of medical cannabis legalisation in the UK, during Medical Cannabis Awareness Week, The Cannabis Industry Council launched a patient survey to further understand patients' experiences with medical cannabis. 

Open to all current and former medical cannabis patients, or patients using cannabis-based medicines in the UK, this survey is welcoming responses until November 30th, is completely confidential, and only takes around 5 to 10 minutes to complete. 

After consulting with their working groups, patient groups, and medical cannabis activists, the CIC designed this survey to identify and explore the most common issues and challenges patients face when accessing, or using, medical cannabis. 

On their news blog announcing the survey, the CIC said they will utilise the results to “understand the challenges patients face, and to advocate for improved outcomes with industry and government.”

What kind of questions are included?

Much like any other survey of its kind, although confidential, this patient survey does ask for basic personal information such as age, gender, ethnicity, and rough geographical location. 

This is done to ensure the data captured is a reflection of the current diverse patient climate in the UK, and gives researchers the opportunity, and the ability, to analyse the responses in relation to demographic profiles. 

The questionnaire then seeks to establish how you have obtained cannabis, whether you’ve sourced it illicitly, legally through a prescription, both, or neither. 

For respondents with dual experiences, follow-up questions establish how long they sourced cannabis illicitly for, which clinics or pharmacies they have used, and whether they’ve ever participated in any access programmes or schemes such as Drug Science’s Project T21

Patients who have sourced cannabis both legally and illicitly are also asked to compare the two experiences. Cost, cannabis quality, reliability of supply, product range, efficacy, customer service, overall preference, and a fear of criminal sanction are all inquired about during this section. 

Those with a legal prescription are asked how long they have been using these treatment options for, how much this costs them every month, and if they have experienced any side effects, or issues with the supply of their medicine. 

Other questions explore any issues or discrimination patients may have faced whilst using their prescribed cannabis, and how patients do, or plan to, protect themselves from unnecessary hassle from authorities or officials. 

During the survey, there is an opportunity for respondents to enter their email address, so they can stay informed of the survey's progress, and any other patient matters that may be of relevance to them. 

Why is this survey important?

This survey holds immense importance for the future of medical cannabis and medical cannabis patients in the UK for a number of reasons. 

As the UK celebrates its fifth year of legalised medical cannabis, it is essential to understand the real, day-to-day experiences of patients using these treatment options. This survey acts as a platform for patients to have their say, and shed light on the practical implications of this legalisation. 

Like the recent reports of patients being arrested, having their houses raided and medication confiscated, published in The Guardian, this survey will shine a spotlight on the stigma, discrimination, and injustice suffered by certain patients who are legally prescribed cannabis. 

Highlighting these barriers will hopefully help to implement change that will abolish these same barriers for future patients. Issues in the supply chain, product quality, and the challenges and legal stresses that arise with police confiscation can have a detrimental impact on patients’ health, particularly if they interfere with their dosing routines. 

The Cannabis Industry Council is committed to use the findings of this survey to advocate for positive change. They say the data collected throughout this survey will be instrumental in fostering discussions with policymakers, industry leaders, and governmental bodies in the future to ensure that patients remain the focus of this industry. 

So, should I take part?

If you are a current or former medical cannabis patient, yes!

Getting involved in surveys like this one is not just about sharing your experiences, or making your voice heard - it’s about making a difference to healthcare as a whole. 

By participating in research surveys and studies, the collective voice of the medical cannabis community is amplified, and can be put into numbers as well as words, which can translate into action.

The figures, statistics, and the real-life data that will be collected by the CIC from this survey has the potential to drive other meaningful changes in the industry, and improve patient experiences and outcomes in the UK. 

As well as developing and distributing surveys like this one, the CIC work proactively within the cannabis industry to make real changes for patients, relying on the honest opinions and accounts of their real-life experiences to do so. 

They’ve already released resource publications for patients and professionals, addressing vital topics such as cannabis and driving, prescription cannabis in the workplace, and guidance for law enforcement. 

By becoming involved in this survey, you will join the collective effort to further meaningful change, and break down the barriers that stand in the way of accessible, high-quality care in the UK. Your participation is not just a survey response; it’s a crucial step towards fostering a more informed, compassionate, and patient-centred environment in the medical cannabis space. 

Access The Cannabis Industry Council’s Medical Cannabis Awareness Week Patient Survey here, and have your say. 

Don't let the stigma surrounding medical cannabis prevent you from getting a suitable treatment. Releaf provides tailored monthly packages, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection, all based on your medical cannabis prescription.


It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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