Sapphire Medical Foundation becomes first medical cannabis charity

In a landmark decision by the Charity Commission, Sapphire Medical Foundation today announces its registration as a charity, the first of its kind in the UK.

Established in 2019, Sapphire Medical Foundation was set up to reduce the financial barriers to accessing medical cannabis, potentially life-changing treatment for millions of patients.

The majority of UK medical cannabis patients receive prescriptions through the private sector and with limited access on the NHS, many prospective patients are unable to afford the prohibitive costs associated with a prescription.

Dr Simon Erridge, Co-Founder and Trustee of Sapphire Medical Foundation was delighted to hear today’s news, “We have worked closely with the Charity Commission to ensure that Sapphire Medical Foundation has a robust governance process. This approval will open up fundraising opportunities and allow us to support many more patients.”

Sapphire Medical Foundation supported its first patient after their first grant application round. Kirran Gill, 38 years old suffers with chronic pain from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. She shared how the foundations grant and access to this treatment has given her “a beacon of hope in amidst the darkness”.

Baroness Molly Meacher is Chair of Trustees for Sapphire Medical Foundation commented on today’s announcement, “The Sapphire Medical Foundation aims to enable patients with limited funds to gain access to cannabis medicines when they need them.  At present only about 10 prescriptions for cannabis medicines have been written within the NHS.  As a result, patients need funds – hundreds of pounds per month or more in some cases, to access these legally recognised medicines.  This is morally wrong.”

George Kruis England Rugby player and Trustee of the Foundation added, “We have shown the Charity Commission that Sapphire Medical Foundation inspires trust and can improve lives. We want to help more patients who are suffering with chronic conditions to access treatment with medical cannabis – it can be life changing.”

With this news and successful fundraising throughout the year the grant application process will open imminently.

As reported in The Times today (Saturday 12th December 2020) ‘Cannabis fund Sapphire wins charity status’