SIX companies have seen their products selected for use in the French medical cannabis trial for 3,000 patients which is set to begin with weeks
The French Government first announced it was launching a pilot medical cannabis programme back in October 2019, but Covid-19 delayed its launch.
It is now set to get underway in March with French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) announcing this week which companies have been selected to supply the project – free of charge.
These include Australia firms Althea and Little Green Pharma, Canadian companies Aurora Cannabis and Tilray, Israeli firm Panaxia and UK-based Emmac Life Sciences.
All of the products are from overseas suppliers as the cultivation of high-THC cannabis is still illegal in France.
A Range Of Conditions
Products have been selected across the THC and CBD spectrum in a range of flowers and oils. Some suppliers have been selected as reserves in case of any issues with the primary chosen supplier. See here for full breakdown.
The chosen businesses will provide the medicines free-of-charge, with no guarantees on future favourable provision, however it will afford them first-mover advantage if the programme is a success.
Leading French cannabis consultant Benjamin-Alexandre Jeanroy Co-Founder & CEO of Augur Associates welcomed the news: “Although the French experiment integrates only a fraction of the patients in need, it’s pleasing to see the process finally start with the first prescriptions set to begin by the end of March.
“Bravo to the everyone involved for their work and to the ANSM for their efforts in the midst of the current health crisis.”
The programme will support patients suffering from epilepsy, pain, the side- effects of chemotherapy and multiple sclerosis and will only be available to those who have reached a ‘treatment impasse’.
Doctors will be able to join the trial on a voluntary basis, and it will allow the medical profession the opportunity to gather evidence of the efficacy of the medicines and possible side-effects.
Momentum Gathering For French Cannabis
The trial will last two years and is the second such initiative on the continent with a smilair four-year effort underway in the Denmark. It started in 2018
This development comes as there are signs of a shift in the perception of cannabis amongst the nations’s policy makers.
Over 200,000 people are said to have registered their opinions with French parliamentary online questionnaire designed to gain a deeper understanding of public opinion towards recreational cannabis use.
The consultation will be available on the National Assembly website for around one month with the findings from the consultation to be published in a report in April.
Meanwhile, a new survey conducted by Le Parisien newspaper, polled French mayors across Paris and found that half were in favour of decriminalisation with only 22% against, the rest said they needed more information.
France has the highest reported cannabis use in Europe with over one-in-ten saying they had used had used it over the previous year.