The French government published an official decree concerning medical cannabis. The decree still needs strict specifications, reported French media RTL.
The debate on the legalization of cannabis is never-ending in France.
After the Council of State suspended the government decree prohibiting the sale of CBD flowers and leaves on Monday, January 24, the government took a step towards legalization by publishing a decree in the Official Journal, allowing French farmers to cultivate medical cannabis.
In France, the cultivation of hemp is already legal. This plant, which comes from the Cannabaceae but has only a low content of psychotropics, has various health properties. Hemp is nowadays used in oils or infusions to treat different ailments such as stress and muscle pain.
Until now, patients suffering from specific illnesses imported other types of cannabis-based treatments. With this new decree, published on Friday, February 18, the government allowed more potent varieties of medical cannabis to be cultivated on French soil. The cultivation of medical cannabis won’t start before a few months as the government must decide on more specifications. For the time being, we know that these new varieties of medical cannabis will have to be grown in a closed environment, in a greenhouse, and be closely monitored.
The decree published on Friday in the Official Journal is part of a much larger project that started in 2021.
In 2021, the use of medical cannabis had indeed been authorized in France as part of a two-year medical experiment involving 3,000 patients. Patients were chosen based on the condition that they suffer from serious illnesses “in case of insufficient relief or poor tolerance” with already existing treatments.
This experiment, set up by the ANSM, does not relate to the effectiveness of the treatments, already proven in other foreign studies, but to the feasibility of generalizing their use on national territory. The results of the study are expected in September 2023.
Within four months, this committee will have to issue an opinion on the levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychotropic molecule of cannabis) and CBD (cannabidiol, the relaxing molecule without its psychoactive effect), as well as on the variety of plants used.
The committee will also decide on the traceability and the controls necessary for the cultivation of the plants as well as pharmaceutical quality criteria.