Medical cannabis will be made available on prescription in UK after it was approved for use by the government.
Doctors will be able to prescribe medicine derived from marijuana “by the autumn” Home Office announced.
The home secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory.
“Following advice from two sets of independent advisors, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products – meaning they will be available on prescription.
“This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need.”
But Mr Javid said it was “in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.”
Possession of the class B drug will still carry an unlimited fine and up to five years in jail, while dealers face 14 years in prison.
It comes after Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, was granted an emergency licence allowing him to be treated with medical marijuana by Northern Ireland’s Department of Health earlier this month.
Billy had previously been granted a short-term licence by the Home Office to allow him access to cannabis oil, which his mother, Charlotte, says helps to control his seizures