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Common questions and concerns from our forum community.

Applying for a cancard

How much does a cancard cost?
We will be providing the card for a small admin fee for those who can afford it, which is £29 for the year.
What do I need to apply?
You will need:

  • -A valid for of photographic identification. For example; Passport, Driving licence, Blue badge etc.
  • Your NHS number
  • Your GP name, email address and practice
  • - Your Summary Care Record, this can be obtained via your GP surgery.
Creating a password
Passwords must be between 8 to 20 characters long, and you need to use at least one number and one letter. You may use special characters if you wish (for example % $ * ^ ).
What if I don't have a smart phone?
Currently, the onboarding process requires a phone that can take photos.
Can I use a different photo to the one taken during the onboarding process?
No. The photo needs to be verified and be the correct size and format for the card. Please take the onboarding photo against a white background if you can.

Our system only allows for ONE photo to be uploaded. We cannot amend or change any photo once you have uploaded it.
Getting your Summary Care Record
This is easily obtained with a quick call to your GP surgery. Legally you can obtain this at any time from your surgery without explanation. Please note that while it is in the interest of progressing education, having a conversation with your GP about cannabis could possibly mean that this is noted on your medical records. This is absolutely fine for most, but for those who may need the option of NHS mental health service support, please note that the NHS still requires you to be free of cannabis consumption for 3 months before they will grant funding. This is why we have opted for a self certification process. If you are comfortable with talking to your GP about your medicine, please make use of the PCCN document which can be printed and taken to an appointment. You will find this in our resources section.
Can I upload something else instead of a Summary Care Record (SCR)?
Yes, if you have other documents which confirm your condition we may be able to use them, please contact us if you are unsure.
My GP doesn't have an email address?
If you cannot get the email address of your specific GP, please get the email address of the practice. Every practice will have an email address even if they do not put it on their website.
I have multiple doctors or get seen by different doctors in the same practice?
Just choose one of the doctors you see or are in the practice. Please do not write various or multiple as your application will be rejected.
Do you need proof that I've tried other medications?
We don't need proof of prescription medication, it's just a box they tick to say they are aware that there's licensed medication and have discounted these based on concerns around side effects or dependence.
What is the quickest way to be approved?
By providing your Summary Care Record from your GP surgery.
What is the age limit on the card?
You must be over 18 to apply for Cancard. We may consider exploring taking on younger patients on a case by case basis at a later date.
Can I have a subsidised card?
If you cannot afford the £20 annual membership please contact us on support@cancard.co.uk. We have done everything possible to ensure that the service is affordable, and are working towards being able to offer a limited number of subsidised cards but this isn't ready. Please only contact us if you genuinely require assistance in obtaining your card.
I don't have a British passport.
You don't need a British passport. Any passport will do. You can also apply with your driving licence.
Does the Cancard apply in Northern Ireland?
We are still waiting on official confirmation from the authorities within the PSNI and will update the website once confirmation is received. We are committed to standing by our community in Northern Ireland, and are doing everything we can to ensure that no patient is excluded.

Medical

What if my condition isn't covered?
The Cancard legal argument for exemption from prosecution for possession of cannabis is based on the idea that if you were able to afford to obtain a private script - you would be covered by law.

Unfortunately, you will be unable to apply if your condition isn't yet covered. However, the list of Qualifying Conditions is increasing daily. We are keeping a close eye on what conditions are being prescribed for and will be adding them as they come up. Please check back to see if your condition has been added.
What is a Summary Care Record (SCR)?
A Summary Care Record is a document which summarises your patient information, created from GP medical records. This may go on for a number of pages. The page that is essential for Cancard approval is the one showing your active conditions.

My GP doesn't know what a Summary Care Record is
Some doctors call it medical record or medical report or patient history.
My GP receptionist is saying they'll have to charge me to obtain my Summary Care Record (SCR)
It is a legal right for any patient to request a Summary Care Record (SCR) without charge. A medical practice can however charge for letters and the printing of full medical records - neither of which we need. I would perhaps ask the patient to escalate this to the practice manager if you can.
My GP is against the idea of medicinal cannabis. Will this be an issue? What if my GP is reluctant to engage?
There is a way to confirm your diagnosis: Self-evidence.

Self-evidence - it is a legal right in the UK to obtain your summary of notes from your doctor. This is a quick phone call and the document is usually left at reception signed and stamped for you to collect and upload as evidence. Unfortunately in the UK consumers of cannabis as it stands can restrict access to mental health services so we wanted to ensure that there is a way for patients to confirm their diagnosis without speaking to their GP or having notes on their system. When choosing to evidence in this way, please feel free to redact any information on the page that does not pertain to a diagnosis relevant to your application.
Why must I have tried other medicines first?
Part of the assessment for a private prescription of cannabis includes a caveat that you have tried at least two licensed medications beforehand. As our legal argument is based on you fitting the criteria for a private script we havefollowed the same guidelines. You needn't have taken the prescription, but in that case you or your GP just confirms that these options have been discussed and discounted due to concerns of side effects or dependence.
List of Conditions
If you do not find you condition in this long list, please signup here and we will inform you as the list grows

Cancer
Anxiety
Chemotherapy induced nausea
Cancer related appetite loss
Depression
Palliative care
Gastrointestinal
Crohn's disease
Ulcerative Colitis
IBD
IBS
Neurological
Autistic spectrum disorder
Epilepsy
Migraine
Cluster headache
MS
Neuropathic pain
Parkinson's disease
FND
MND
Cerebral Palsy
Pain
Arthritis/RA
Chronic pain
Fibromyalgia
Migraine
Cluster headache
Neuropathic pain
Palliative care
EDS
Psychiatric
ADHD
Anxiety
Agoraphobia
ASD
Depression
Insomnia
PTSD
OCD
Tourettes

legal

Does this mean I am legal?
No, the law has not changed. However, following 12 months of conversations with police forces, there is a frustration around being able to identify legitimate patients so that they are able to use their discretion. Cancard is backed and co-designed by senior police and guidance will be issued by them to all forces in the UK to suggest that they should feel confident in using their discretion in cases of possession with a Cancard.

The card does, however, prove that you are legally entitled to a cannabis prescription and are only in contravention of the Drugs Act because you are unable to afford one. This is a mitigating factor for the CPS and one which means a simple possession case would be unlikely to make it to court. In the event that you do, the card comes with:

  • A stop and search guide
  • A helpline for legal advice
  • Resources for your solicitor
  • An outline of a legal framework for defence
  • An anonymised self reporting tool that will help to build a picture of Police involvement for the upcoming legal review

advice

Where should I go for advice about cannabis and my condition?
There are a few fantastic organisations who do some excellent patient advocacy such as PLEA. Cancard will also be building a community forum where you can engage with patients with the same condition as you.

data

How will my data be stored?
GDPR is now law, in everything you sign up to. It would be illegal for any organisation to use your data for anything that you have not given permission for. Our processes will be fully GDPR compliant. Our privacy policy is here.

Driving

Does this mean I can drive?
No, the law is clear on driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance. Prescription cannabis is labelled as 'do not drive or operate heavy machinery' and we implore you to be considerate in your actions after you have taken a dose of medicine. Here is some accurate information about how long THC can stay in your system.
Will the DVLA be notified of my application
No, the DVLA does not have access to our database. However we kindly remind you that driving under the influence of any drug can be dangerous. We recommend not driving whilst you are under the influence of your medicine.

Police stop and search

What happens if I get stopped by police?
We have designed a stop and search guide that is available on the website. This can be downloaded and saved to your phone. Our advice would be to stay calm, listen to the officer's instructions and when appropriate explain that you have a Cancard, produce it and explain what it means. If the officer still wishes to search you then allow this to take place. There are reporting and complaint mechanisms available to you if you feel the search was unlawful or unwarranted and these can be explored afterwards.
What happens if a Police Officer doesn't follow the Cancard advice?
Taken all factors into consideration and assuming an officer arrests you, part of the process of getting a charge is the consultation between the police and the CPS, who will recommend what action should be taken. Cancard is a really easy way of verifying intent of medicinal use and it is our hope that officers will take that into effect when using their discretion.

Holding a Cancard is a mitigating factor rather than a defence to possessing Cannabis and this will be taken into account by the CPS should you be charged. Although we hope a charge isn't sought, it is important to note this could still happen. We have designed a legal resources section for any Solicitor to utilise in the event you are charged.

Home Growing

Does the scheme cover home growing?
We are focusing on simple possession while we are in the process of working in the background on the amnesty project. This may be something we fold in, as our work with the police and the CPS continues.

We understand that supply is safer and can be more personalised if the option for home growing were open to patients, and after all, this is how this project began. We will be updating everyone as discussions around this turn into workable solutions later in the year.

However, if you are caught cultivating cannabis - Cancard will provide key information to officers at the scene and the CPS upon interview, this should go a way to demonstrate intent, and question if it is in the publics best interest to pursue a charge.
Can you help me source cannabis?
No, unfortunately we are unable to advise on routes of supply.

Private prescriptions

Can I get a private prescription?
If you meet the Cancard criteria then you may qualify to take part in the Twenty21 study and be issued with a private prescription. To get further information on how that works you can visit https://www.drugscience.org.uk/project-twenty21/ and https://www.opencannabis.uk/
Can I apply for a card if I already have a private prescription?
You may wish to apply for the card even if you have a legal prescription as it is a good indicator for police and the general public if you need to use your equipment out and about.