Jorja Emerson faces wait of ‘weeks or months’ for cannabis prescription because ‘no UK pharmacy holds a licence to sell it’


Robin Emerson has said that it will take “weeks or months” to get hold of the cannabis medicine prescribed to his two-year-old daughter Jorja because no UK pharmacy has a licence to sell it.

As we reported yesterday, Jorja, who has more than 30 epileptic seizures a day, has become the first child in the UK since the 1 November law change to get a cannabis prescription – but only from a private doctor and at the cost of £1,000 a month.

However, the family now faces a anxious wait before Jorja can start the treatment. They live in Dundonald in County Down, Northern Ireland, but Robin said he will not leave London until he has obtained the medicine.

Robin, 33, said: “We are letting bureaucracy get in the way of saving children’s lives. Jorja is entitled to her medication and it’s legal. There should be no issue.”

She urgently needs the treatment, he added, and currently has a chest infection which is “setting off her seizures”.

Responding to Jorja’s case, Sir Mike Penning MP, who co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Use of Medical Cannabis, said: “The last thing they need is a long and tortuous process to actually get the medicine that’s been prescribed.

“This assault course of bureaucracy needs sorting out once and for all. But in the meantime, if this prescription isn’t sorted soon I’m minded to ask a small cross party group of MPs led by myself and my co-chair Tonia Antoniazzi to go and get it from Canada and give it to Robin for Jorja.”

A Government spokesman said that medical cannabis “can be imported using appropriately licensed pharmaceutical wholesalers”, adding: “There are already a range of products that can be supplied and we are working closely with a range of other manufacturers to ensure a wider range is available for specialists to prescribe for their patients.”