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Flower Will Not Be Included In France’s Medical Cannabis Program

cannabis flower buds

France’s medical cannabis public policy experiment received initial approval from the nation’s Senate back in 2019, however, the launch of the trial was delayed until the spring of 2021 due to various reasons.

Initially slated for two years, France’s medical cannabis experiment was eventually granted a one-year extension and was set to end in 2024. In October 2023, it was announced that the program would receive another one-year extension, and is now slated to go until at least 2025.

Unfortunately, the French National Medicines Safety Agency recently confirmed that flower will no longer be included in the nation’s medical cannabis program in the near future. Per Business of Cannabis:

In a public update and accompanying letter to healthcare professionals, the ANSM confirmed this in no uncertain terms.

“Medicines in the form of flowers (flowering tops to be inhaled) will cease to be made available in the coming weeks. Prescribing doctors must therefore gradually stop flower treatment for their patients and not initiate new treatments with this form.”

As of March 26, cannabis flower will cease being provided by the programme’s sole flower supplier, Aurora, and once reserve stocks have been exhausted, patients will have no legal route to secure medical cannabis flower.

Many patients prefer cannabis flower over other forms of medical cannabis due to how fast the effects take hold compared to other forms, such as edibles. Access to cannabis flower also provides flexibility for patients who want to make their own preparations, such as homemade tinctures.

Several jurisdictions around the globe limit legal medical cannabis to pharmaceutical forms, which forces many patients to the unregulated market to source their medicine. A robust medical cannabis program, such as the types of programs found in North America, provides legal access to flower and other options to help ensure that all patients get the best types of medicine for their situation.

It is estimated that out of the roughly 2,500 patients that are enrolled in France’s program, only about 100 of them currently receive cannabis flower.