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France Could Postpone The Legalisation Of Medical Cannabis By One Year

As reported in NewsWeed.fr

IN a short note sent to deputies seen by NewsWeed, Santé France Cannabis, an association which brings together several representative players in the future sector of medical cannabis in France, recommends ‘planning the postponement’ of the legalisation of medical cannabis by one year.

As a reminder, France’s medical cannabis pilot project is due to end in March 2023. Three options are then available: the legalisation of medical cannabis, a second pilot project or an abandonment of the project altogether.

A report produced by an entity external to the Ministry of Health must be presented to Parliament today (Monday,September 26) to evaluate the system and fuel the debate on how to proceed. 

As reported last week, the extension of the medical cannabis pilot programme, which Santé France Cannabis supports, would see customers no longer receive products for free. 

“The national actors gathered in ‘Santé France Cannabis’ propose – as some public decision-makers envisage – to provide for the postponement of one year of the generalisation, planned for March 2023, in order to allow the time necessary for the sector to organise”, the note read.

Santé France Cannabis fears that ‘the generalisation of the use of these drugs or the extension of the experimentation will, under current conditions, be favourable to foreign players to the detriment of the French sector’.

The cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic use is technically legal in France. However, the Government is yet to define the methods of cultivation and production of medical cannabis to allow companies to work outside the context of R&D.

If medical cannabis were legalised in April 2023, the supply of patients would not, however, be based solely on imports.

The production of cannabis flowers is effectively reduced to R&D at the moment, but the extraction has been worked on since 2021 by French companies such as Alkion BioInnovations. 

Meryll Buet, CEO of Alkion, confirmed to NewsWeed that it will be able to supply patients with cannabis extracts and APIs from April 2023. In the event of an extension of the experiment, Alkion will be able to either supply medical products based on cannabis if the chosen scheme allows it, or produce for export if it was granted an authorisation for non-R&D production.

Franck Milone, president of French medical cannabis company LaFleur added: “We must generalise as quickly as possible and give French companies the possibility of accelerating the development and marketing of their products’. 

LaFleur would also be able to supply cannabis-based medical products, not manufactured in France, from April 2023.

Santé France Cannabis refused to comment on the story at this time. 

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