Medicinal use of cannabis-based products barriers on NHS prescriptions: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for a copy of all recorded communications to and from the Scottish government regarding NHS England's review and report on "Barriers to accessing cannabis-based products for medicinal use on  NHS prescriptions",  including  attachments  to any emails


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information  you  have requested  because an exemption(s)  under sections 29(1)(b), 30(b), 30(c) and 38(1)b of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s)  applies are explained  in the Annex to this letter.

Some of the information you have requested reasonably accessible to you. The terms of Reference for the NHS England process review is available from and the press release announcing the NHS England Process Review's publication is available from
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.


An exemption applies
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. 

This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. 
An exemption  applies. subject  to the public interest test 
Exemptions under section 29(1)(b), 30(b) and 30(c) of FOISA applies to some of  the information you have requested. 
These exemptions are subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing  the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemptions. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour  of upholding the exemptions.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI-19-01933 Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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