14 Mar France Enters the Medicinal Cannabis Industry
France is yet to legalize medicinal cannabis but it has made steps into its cultivation. The steps taken by the French government mean the medicinal cannabis industry in France is likely to develop. The decree initially came into force at the beginning of March but is still yet to be implemented.
What Does the Decree State About Medicinal Cannabis in France?
The decree put out by the French government only goes into detail about the conditions and procedures necessary for the eventual cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis. Parts of the French Code of Public Health have been amended so that they allow for the production, manufacture, transport, import, export and cultivation of medicinal cannabis.
The medicinal cannabis supply chain is going to be supervised by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products. A committee has also been set up which consists of 11 members. These 11 members will be responsible for the examination of different aspects of the supply chain. These aspects include what strands can be used for medicinal cannabis, the level of CBD and THC that is found within said strands and the criteria for quality that pharmaceutical companies will need to adhere to.
How Did the Decree Come About?
Many countries are beginning to see the promising nature of the medicinal cannabis market. As such, in 2020 France announced a pilot project which officially launched a year ago. The project set to target 3000 patients who were suffering with a range of conditions including epilepsy and chronic pain. It has recently been announced that this study is going to continue up until March 2023, with all taking part under frequent supervision.
What Is Uncertain Within the Decree?
France supported their project with the importation of medicinal cannabis. At the moment, it is not certain whether the companies who will continue to support the project are going to be French or remain non-French.
The decree is unclear about what form the medicinal cannabis will come in. Whilst generally it comes as a flower, there is an industry shaped within the decree and a medically certified supply chain. This newly shaped industry could mean medicinal cannabis in France may come in a different form.
Experts also remain unsure about the accessibility of the medicinal cannabis market in France should it be properly implemented. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines will be the only operator that can delegate medicinal cannabis production. As such, a lot of experts wonder whether they will simply opt for a single operator to work on production. This scenario would mirror that in the Italian medicinal cannabis industry who only import cannabis from abroad.
Why Are There These Uncertainties Surrounding Medicinal Cannabis in France?
Frances’s caution is likely a consequence of their strict policies on cannabis, which are currently some of the strictest in the European Union. The citizens of France are affected by these policies but more so than ever, they could be affecting patients who require medicinal cannabis.
Current laws surrounding medicines with cannabis derivatives and CBT are severe. The laws state that they can only be sold under a prescription and that prescription can only be written up if there are no other treatments that benefit the patient.
France may well be one of the leading EU producers of hemp, but this only tends to get used to satisfy industrial purposes as opposed to medicinal ones.
What Can We Expect from France and the Medicinal Cannabis Market in the Future?
Unfortunately, it remains to too early to tell what the future holds for France and the use of Medicinal Cannabis. How the market will be shaped is also completely unknown for the time being. Though there are many Canadian and American medicinal cannabis businesses who operate in France, French political views mean it could be difficult for locals to enter into the market.
The drafting of the decree and continuation of the pilot project mean France is leaning towards the implementation of medicinal cannabis. There will be plenty of news to come surrounding this subject so it is worth keeping up to date on it.
Will France Be Using Medicinal Cannabis Anytime Soon?
France has recently shown some intention on using medicinal cannabis as legislation has been drafted that maps out how it would be cultivated. Whilst medicinal cannabis is not yet legal in the country, parameters are being set on how it would be regulated and distributed were such legality to come into effect.
The decree comes about following a pilot project in which 3000 people with serious medical conditions have been treated using medicinal cannabis. This project was officially launched in March 2021 and has been commissioned to continue until 2023.
The conditions of eventual implementation are riddled with uncertainty. The final product is unknown and the accessibility of the market is also uncertain given it seems the delegation of production will be up to government officials.
More news on Frances’s use of medicinal cannabis is awaited.