The year 2023 was crucial for the cannabis industry in Europe. 🌿 Several important milestones have been reached, including the opening of fully legal cannabis stores for adult use in Switzerland , the relaxation of cannabis laws in Malta, and the establishment of a legal supply chain for Dutch coffee shops. In France , a battle has been waged for the widespread implementation of medical cannabis , facing many challenges along the way. This article will delve into the journey of the French battle for medical cannabis in 2023 and the progress made. 🇫🇷💚
Progression of cannabis in Europe in 2023 🌿
Before diving into the French battle for medical cannabis, it is essential to highlight the overall progression of cannabis in Europe during the year 2023. According to the latest global report from Prohibition Partners, this year's advances have been more gradual than abrupt. This means that although progress has been made, it is the result of long and arduous battles fought by dedicated patient groups, advocates and activists. 🌍✨
Dates and battle for Medical Cannabis in France 🇫🇷
Let's take a closer look at some of these fierce battles across Europe over the past 12 months:
September 2022: The French Pilot Project
In September 2022, the French pilot project for medical cannabis was approaching its deadline in March 2023. Launched in March 2021, the project provided free medical cannabis to more than 2,000 patients for almost two years . It was widely expected that, as indicated by the government during the initial launch of the pilot, medical cannabis would be fully integrated into the French national health system after the pilot.
However, in September the government proposed an amendment to extend the pilot for another year, leaving patients and industry stakeholders wondering what the implications of this extension would be. Concerns have been raised about the widespread availability of medical cannabis and the continued free availability of products to patients. The government claimed that the pilot project had not produced enough clinical results to decide on its generalization.
February 2023: Publication of Clinical Data
In February 2023, the first clinical data since the launch of the medical cannabis trial was released, revealing an overwhelmingly positive response among the patient community. According to data recently published by the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM), until October 18, 2022, 2,204 patients had participated in the trial, 91% of whom expressed their support for the legalization of medical cannabis in France.
However, it is important to note that the trial was primarily focused on collecting data on safety and effectiveness as a secondary objective, rather than solely determining the future of medical cannabis mainstreaming. Despite these positive results, uncertainty surrounding plans to generalize medical cannabis in France remained. 🤔🌱
April 2023: Challenges in the Tender Process
In April 2023, the tender process took an unexpected turn as companies refused to continue participating due to significant costs. Initially, companies such as Aurora Cannabis , Tilray , Panaxia and Little Green Pharma had responded positively to calls for tenders to provide their products for free for the French experiment.
However, the compensation offered to participants was significantly lower than the minimum production costs of these companies. Reports suggested that more than half of the patients in the program were deprived of access to treatment due to supply shortages . The French government had not allocated a budget for the program or finalized the regulatory framework for medical cannabis, prompting experts to highlight the need for industry support to amplify patient voices. 😟
July 2023: Little Green Pharma Wins the Second Call for Tenders
In July 2023, the Australian company Little Green Pharma (LGP), which had already supplied medical cannabis oil to the French pilot program since its launch, announced that it had won a second call for tenders. LGP said it will now provide up to $1.6 million ($77 per bottle) of its CBD50 medical cannabis oil for the French pilot project.
LGP remained the largest supplier for the trial , with approximately 85% of the more than 2,000 patients receiving their product. This victory was seen as a positive step towards ensuring a consistent supply of medical cannabis for patients participating in the pilot project. However, concerns have been raised about reliance on a single supplier and the need for diversification in the market. 🤔
September 2023: Exclusion from the Social Security Financing Law
In September 2023, medical cannabis suffered a setback by being excluded from the Social Security Financing Law . 😞 The decision was a disappointment to patients and advocates who were hoping for the inclusion of medical cannabis in the healthcare system, ensuring accessibility and affordability for those who need it. This exclusion has raised questions about the government's commitment to patient well-being and the recognition of medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment option.
October 2023: Confirmation of Continuity
Despite the exclusion from the Social Security Financing Law, the French pilot project for medical cannabis has received confirmation of its continuation . 🌟 The government announced that the project would be extended for another year, allowing for further data collection and analysis. The move was seen as a beacon of hope for patients who relied on medical cannabis for their well-being and demonstrated the government's recognition of the importance of the pilot project.
November 2023: Amendment to the Social Security Financing Law
In November 2023, an amendment to the Social Security Financing Law was proposed , aiming to reintroduce medical cannabis into the health system . 🌿 The amendment received significant support from patient groups, medical professionals, and advocates who highlighted the potential benefits of medical cannabis for various conditions. The proposed amendment emphasized the need for comprehensive regulation, patient access and the development of a sustainable medical cannabis market in France.
December 2023: Final Approval by the French Assembly
In December 2023, the French Assembly finally granted final approval for the integration of medical cannabis into the national health system. 🎉 This historic decision marked a significant victory for patients, advocates and industry stakeholders who had fought tirelessly for the recognition of medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment option. The approval paved the way for the establishment of a regulated medical cannabis market , ensuring patient access, quality control and continued research and development.
The battle for medical cannabis in France in 2023 has been a roller coaster of challenges, setbacks and triumphs. From the extension of the pilot project to the publication of positive clinical data, through the challenges of the tender process, the exclusion of the Social Security Financing Law and the final approval by the Assembly French, each step has shaped the future of medical cannabis in the country. Although there have been moments of uncertainty and disappointment, the ultimate victory of integrating medical cannabis into the national healthcare system marks a turning point in patient care and recognition of the therapeutic potential of cannabis.🌿
Frequently asked questions
Is medical cannabis legal in France?
Yes, medical cannabis has been legalized and integrated into the national health system in France.
What conditions can be treated with medical cannabis in France?
Medical cannabis can be prescribed for various conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced nausea.
How can patients access medical cannabis in France?
Patients can access medical cannabis through their doctors who will prescribe the appropriate dosage and product.
Are there any restrictions on medical cannabis in France?
Yes, medical cannabis is subject to strict regulations and can only be obtained through licensed healthcare providers and pharmacies.
What is the future of medical cannabis in France?
With the integration of medical cannabis into the national health system, the future looks promising for the continued research, development and accessibility of medical cannabis in France.
🚨 Warning 🚨
The information provided in this article on medical cannabis in France is for informational purposes only. Although efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information, it is important to note that laws and regulations may evolve and vary. Readers are strongly encouraged to consult official sources, such as health authorities and government agencies, for the most recent and accurate information on the legal status of medical cannabis in France.
This article does not replace the professional advice of a doctor or healthcare professional. Decisions regarding the use of medical cannabis should be made in consultation with qualified healthcare professionals, taking into account the individual needs of each patient.
The author and publishers accept no responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of the information provided in this article. Readers are encouraged to exercise their own judgment and discretion before making decisions based on the information presented here.
Finally, this warning is subject to modification without notice to reflect legislative or regulatory developments.