A cannabis reform proposal designed for medical use has been approved in Spain. By the end of the year 2022, it is projected that pharmacies will begin stocking medical marijuana for qualified patients.
Spain is the next European nation to legalize cannabis for therapeutic purposes. There will be a limited number of medicinal conditions for which cannabis will be available in pharmacies and health institutions as a supplemental therapy.
On Tuesday, the medical cannabis subcommittee of the Spanish Congress of Deputies approved its final report to regulate medical marijuana. The conclusion was reached after a specialized health panel analyzed the findings of an official research on the benefits of cannabis for medicinal use that was carried out earlier this year. The Spanish Health Agency (AEMPS) will require an extra six months to establish rules and regulations for the actual distribution of medical cannabis.
Unfortunately, just a few medical applications have been accepted. Patients suffering with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, and chronic neuropathic pain will soon be permitted to consume processed cannabis (including oils, vapes, extracts, and ingestible products). Patients will not be able to get fresh herb, since flower is still prohibited to solely research purposes; only processed items will be available. If medical research supports it, the therapeutic applications of cannabis products may be expanded to encompass more conditions.
By the end of 2022, cannabis for medicinal purposes will be available through prescription at hospital pharmacies in Spain. Carola Perez, a prominent patient advocate and the president of the Spanish Observatory for Medicinal Cannabis, believes that many patients will continue to be compelled to receive their medication through cannabis social clubs, home growing, and the illegal market. Due to the fact that only public hospitals may prescribe, people with private health insurance are now excluded.
What about Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC’s)
Cannabis has been permitted in some form in Spain, whether in cannabis social clubs or in the privacy of one’s own home. This is because it is not prohibited in Spain to consume cannabis on private property. Cannabis clubs are allowed to exist by using this loophole. Technically, social clubs are non-profit; members pay a nominal membership fee and get cannabis products in return. Unfortunately, the Spanish government does not recognize these cannabis social clubs as legitimate businesses under current law.
Spain has officially acknowledged the therapeutic value of cannabis, legalizing its use for medical purposes. In addition to Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Greece, Spain is now included among the European countries that have approved medicinal cannabis and provide insurance coverage for it. Additionally, the Netherlands has a medical marijuana program. Regrettably, Dutch insurers have been rejecting requests for payment all the way back to 2017.