cannabis with a white frame and typo cancard in the middle

    What is the new Medical Cannabis Card – Cancard?

    A new innovative proposal to protect medicinal cannabis users has been approved by police chiefs. Called Cancard the new card system will decriminalise cannabis possession for Medical Cannabis users.

    Photo: Cancard

    According to Cancard there are 1.4 million people in the UK that consume cannabis medicinally for a range of conditions. 1.1 million qualify for a private prescription. These people are criminalised if they are unable to afford one.

    The idea originated from a well known cannabis activist named Carly Barton.

    Co Founder PlantEd Collective, Carly is a former Lecturer in the Arts who has a creative background that includes exhibiting at the Tate and the Saatchi gallery. 

    After having to give up her role due to health problems, she discovered that Medical Cannabis was not only appropriate, but a far more effective substitute for Opioids to treat her Fibromyalgia and post-stroke Neuropathy. 

    She now advocates for patient access to Medical Cannabis as a Trustee of United Patients Alliance. 

    Carly was the first person in the UK to receive a prescription for herbal Cannabis privately since the law change in 2018. She is working tirelessly with government organisations in order to convert this to an NHS prescription, with the hope of setting precedent for other patients to follow. 

    She is involved in many projects that seek to establish wider access to Medical Cannabis in the UK, most recently launching Carly’s Amnesty, which seeks to provide exemption from prosecution for patients to grow their own medicine.

    Carly is also a contributing member and advisor to the newly established Global Medical Cannabis Council.

    This new initiative has received cross-party support amongst MPs like MP Jeff Smith from the Labour Party and MP Crispin Blunt from the Conservative Party.

    “More than a million patients will at last be free from the fear of arrest for taking their cannabis medicine to relieve their pain or suffering,  thanks to the Cancard.”

    – The Baroness Molly Meacher, House of Lords 

    Backed by police chiefs the aim is for all police forces to be briefed on the scheme and encouraged to use their discretion where the Cancard is presented.

    Other comments from the police force as mentioned on policy reform groups.

    The Cancard will provide them with assurance that their ill health will not lead to a criminal record, while it will also be a valuable tool to help frontline officers, saving them time by providing immediate verification of genuine medical patients and therefore giving them confidence to use their discretion. I want to praise Carly for her dedication and the collaborative work she has done with senior officers to get this important initiative off the ground.

    — Martyn Underhill, Police Commissioner

    I did not join the police to arrest people who are simply unwell and trying to manage their symptoms or pain. In fact I joined to help people in that position. Initiatives such as Cancard are important because they give police officers vital information which they can use when they have to make decisions on the street.

    — Simon Kempton, Serving Dorset Police Officer, Operational Policing Lead, Member of the National Board of the Police Federation of England and Wales

    Who is eligible for the card?

    The Medicinal Cannabis holographic photo ID card is available to patients who meet the following criteria:

    • Have a diagnosis (confirmed by their GP) that is currently being prescribed for privately.
    • Have tried two types of prescription medication or have discussed and discounted these options based on side effect profile or dependence concerns.
    • Are unable to afford a private prescription.
    • Are required to be in possession of a small amount of Cannabis in order to manage their symptoms. 
    • Are at risk of criminalisation.

    What are the health conditions for eligibility?

    There are several conditions that are eligible for medical cannabis treatment. Below is a list with all of them. Make sure that your condition is covered before applying for your Cancard.

    Chemotherapy induced nausea
    Cancer related appetite loss
    Palliative care

    Crohn’s disease
    Ulcerative Colitis
    Autistic spectrum disorder
    Cluster headache
    Neuropathic pain
    Parkinson’s disease

    Chronic pain
    Cluster headache
    Neuropathic pain
    Palliative care

    How to obtain a Cancard?

    To obtain a card, you must follow a 3 step process.

    Step 1 – Sign up

    Register on the cancard website using a photo and a contact email for your GP

    Step 2 – Call your GP

    Your GP needs to confirm your diagnosis

    Step 3 – Wait for your card

    If the application is successful you will be sent your Cancard to use at your discretion, as and when it is required.

    Cancard Fundraiser Campaign

    A fundraiser campaign to support the project has also been setup on Indiegogo – Cancard Campaign. The money will go towards:

    • Helping to build a platform to facilitate the automation of application to delivery of Cancards
    • Help to subsidise the cost for those who are on low income or benefits
    • Help to build a supportive patient forum for patients and GPs to connect and exchange information and advice
    • Build a resource platform that will be free for patients to use who may have suffered a charge

    There is a variety of perks to choose from including CBD and THC seeds, festival tickets, t-shirts and the chance to win an Extreme Arizer Q vaporizer. So get in and support the cause if you can.

    Update 19/10/2020: The initiative has hit 10,000 sign ups!

    Update 28/10/20: The scheme will face a slight delay to the 30th of November due to health issues of the sponsor of the card Carly Barton. Listen also to a few other exciting updates from Carly in the announcement video.

    Update 30/11/20: The Cancard Scheme has launched! Fill in the form on the website if you fulfill the requirements and get your card.

    Update 24/5/21: Cancard heroes needed. The project is looking for Cancard heros to be part of our patient working group. Working directly alongside Carly and the team, you will have the ability to test and input on our services and exciting new developments! So if you are interested, please do submit soon. To apply to be part of a force for change and help us with our work, click here now

    Update 22/01/2024: Cancard & the 02 Arena. As part of their advocacy work Cancard will be looking to train venues and establishments on medicinal cannabis. This year they are going to look at quality of life of patients in three key areas: at home, at work and at play. They’ve launched their first venue with the 02 Arena and the British Tea museum!

    Reviews from patients are overwhelmingly positive with 4.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot!

    Cancard Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of (

    And some big and important numbers.

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