France Prepares to Begin Medical Marijuana Trials in 2021

France Prepares to Begin Medical Marijuana Trials in 2021 - February 08, 2021

Looks like more nations are opening up to medical marijuana in 2021. The recent addition to the list is the country of northwestern Europe, France. 

Back in October 2019, France had announced the launch of its medical marijuana program where foreign companies can step up to supply free medical marijuana to patients in need. After a full year, the nation is finally beginning the preparations for their experiment. 

It’s a new and exciting experiment that opens up the possibilities of viewing marijuana as a medical drug. 

Medical Marijuana Trials in France

The French Minister of Solidarity and Health, Oliver Véran, signed the decree to launch a pilot program that’s meant to serve medical marijuana free of cost to up to 3000 qualified patients. The program is entirely based on voluntary participation where companies from other countries can apply to be a part of the trial. 

The participation of foreign suppliers is necessary considering the fact that high THC cultivation is still illegal in the country. For this reason, the nation has opened up the application process for marijuana companies that are ready to export and distribute medical marijuana to France and bear the cost of the same. The country expects the suppliers to serve products that completely comply with the pharmaceutical standards such as the Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Agricultural Practice. 

Participation in the trial is not based on random selection. There’s an entire list of qualifying conditions that will determine if a patient will be a part of the program or not. Also, a patient will get to be a part of the program only if the authorities believe that medical marijuana treatment is their last resort to get better. The number of patients is somewhere close to the 3000 mark.

The program has a very well defined structure for the use and supply of medical marijuana. The authorities carefully look after everything, from the quality of products and distribution to consumption methods and prescriptions. 

Companies Selected for the Program

The pilot program is followed up by the French Agency for Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) which looks after the applications of foreign suppliers. Recently, ANSM announced the name of companies that are selected to be the main as well as substitute suppliers for the program. Here are the names of some of these suppliers:

  • Canada based companies Aurora Cannabis and Tilray. 
  • Israel based company Panaxia.
  • Australian based company Althea and Little Green Pharma. 
  • U.K. based company Emmac Life Sciences

Now that France is ready with its list of suppliers, the trial program only awaits the prescriptions. As per the information provided by the ANSM, the prescriptions for medical marijuana trials will begin somewhere by the end of March 2021. A final date is yet to be announced. Once the prescription begins, the patients can access medical marijuana in France free of charge.  

The duration of the medical marijuana pilot program is set to be anywhere from 18 to 24 months starting from the day of the first prescription. 

What Does This Mean for Medical Marijuana Reforms?

The medical marijuana market is stepping up and competing to become a supplier for the trial program of France. At the moment, the program is beneficial for the marijuana market. But, in the long run, this experimentation also proves to be a step forward towards medical marijuana reforms. It’s proof that nations are progressing and becoming more tolerant towards the herb and ready to view it from a medical perspective. And this change is not only restricted to the US but also spreading to European nations with some of the strictest marijuana laws. 

France’s medical marijuana experiment is a small start but will lead to more openings for medical marijuana accessibility and possible legalization in the future. In fact, 50% of Paris’ leaders favor the decriminalization of marijuana already. 

 

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