The health regulator issued 9,231 Special Access Scheme approvals for medicinal cannabis in April, down 20% on the previous month, latest figures have shown.

It took the total number of SAS-B approvals since the turn of the year to just under 39,000, an increase of 26% on the first four months of 2021.

Oil accounted for 52% of approvals, slightly down from the 2022 average, with flower up from 38% to 40%.

The majority of approvals were for schedule 8 medicine (83%), with S4 making up the balance.

Chronic pain and anxiety were again the most common indications medicinal cannabis was approved for, accounting for 46% and 33% respectively, followed by sleep disorder (6%), cancer pain and PTSD (both 2%).

The number of medical practitioners prescribing cannabis in April was 814, down from 874 in March.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...