A newly-formed network of cannabis-friendly GPs is looking to shake up the clinic model in Australia with its founder plotting a presence in each state capital before expanding to regional parts of the country.

Cann I Help is aiming to recruit a nationwide group of GPs, all working from their own practices, who have an interest in exploring medicinal cannabis treatments for patients.

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Cann I Help, which launched in February, currently has five doctors, while a further 15-20 have expressed a desire to develop their understanding and potentially join the network.

Face-to-face consultation, rather than telehealth, is the optimal way of delivering medical care, according to Cann I Help director Laurence Kemp

It will also act as an educational and support resource for GPs who are keen to understand the treatments and deepen their knowledge of cannabinoid medication.

Laurence Kemp, the Brisbane-based doctor spearheading the initiative, said the model will keep medicinal cannabis within general practice and, wherever possible, under the direct supervision of a patient’s regular GP.

Too often, he said, patients who visit a specialist cannabis clinic are lost to the medical professional who knows them best.

“Before I started learning about medicinal cannabis I was referring patients to clinics as it wasn’t something I knew much about,” Kemp told Cannabiz. “When these patients came back to see me, many of them seemed to be benefitting quite significantly and I could see first-hand the positive impact cannabis was having.   

“But never once in my work as a GP did I ever receive a letter from a medicinal cannabis clinic informing me what they had prescribed and the assessment they had undertaken, even though I had referred patients to them.