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Spain’s Minister Of Health Says Information On Medical Cannabis Is ‘Insufficient’ And That He Cannot ‘Recommend Its Use’

As reported by Cannareporter

The Spanish Minister of Health José María Miñones said today in the Chamber of Deputies that, other than spasticity derived from multiple sclerosis and the different types of epilepsy, ‘unfortunately’ for other diseases the information available on medical cannabis ‘is insufficient and we cannot recommend its use’.

Miñones deputy Josune Gorospe from the Basque Parliamentary Group (PNV) said he considered the Minister’s response ‘a regression’, while Carola Perez, president of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis, has already condemnded these statements.

Mr Miñones, who was appointed this Monday as Spain’s new Minister of Health, replacing Carolina Darias, made his debut in government this morning during a plenary session. The first question he received was about the regulation of medical cannabis, posed by PNV MP Josune Gorospe.

Gorospe began by warning Miñones that he was already ‘the third Minister that we have questioned in this legislature about the regulation of the medical-therapeutic use of cannabinoids’, and that the regulation of medical cannabis that would allow them to know ‘which patients could have access to this type of products is already 3 months late’. Questioning him directly, she asked: “When does the government intend to fulfil the mandate of this chamber on the regulation of the medical and therapeutic use of cannabinoids?”


With some visible nervousness, the Minister read his notes on a paper, saying that currently there are already some drugs or cannabis preparations duly authorised in Spain, namely for spasticity derived from multiple sclerosis and for different types of epilepsy. However, the Minister stated that ‘unfortunately… the information is insufficient and we cannot recommend its use. We must go hand in hand with scientific evidence to balance benefit and risk. We continue to work on it’.

Gorospe was indignant and stated that the response left her ‘cold’. She added that his ‘answer is a regression’, stating that a government commission spent six months working with entities, experts and representatives of other governments in order to gather evidence.

“How can you tell me there’s no evidence? Listen, read and pay attention to what we have here. Don’t make a fool of yourself and put us in the situation other European countries are in and give patients in the state the same opportunity as other patients elsewhere,” she said.

Once again, the Minister of Health indicated that the Medicines Agency is working on a report ‘that allows us to establish the most appropriate regulation to pursue two objectives: safety and effectiveness’, adding that the agency will continue to work and analyse the scientific literature in order to establish the modality that best suits the needs of patients and the Spanish regulatory system.

Speaking to Cannareporter, Carola Perez, president of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis, said these statements like a ‘cold shower’ for Spanish patients.

“We are aware that [the minister] has been in office for 24 hours, but the statements were difficult for us, because he received incorrect information about the process”.

Visibly disappointed, Carola Perez says patients will ‘continue to work hard’ in this process, adding: “We have until the next elections to put pressure on the government and that’s what we’re going to do”.

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