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French Medical Cannabis Legalization Is Not Expected In 2024

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France’s government is expected to refrain from recommending national medical cannabis legalization after the European nation’s medical cannabis experiment is over.

In March 2021, France launched a limited medical cannabis experiment involving between 2,000 and 3,000 suffering patients with the goal of gaining insight to possibly craft national medical cannabis policies and regulations. Initially slated for a two-year period, France’s medical cannabis experiment was eventually granted a one-year extension and is set to end in 2024.

According to domestic reporting, the 2024 Social Security Financing Bill (PLFSS) will not include provisions to legalize medical cannabis nationwide due to a lack of support by the Macron administration.

The French medical cannabis experiment received initial approval from the federal Senate back in 2019, however, the launch of the trial was delayed until the spring of 2021 due to various reasons. Cannabis producer LaFleur was eventually selected as the cultivator for the program and has supplied participating patients since the launch of the experiment.

Limited cannabis access is not a new public policy concept in Europe, with limited adult use cannabis commerce now permitted in parts of Switzerland, and soon, the Netherlands. Germany is another jurisdiction that is working towards launching adult-use pilot programs.

France is somewhat rare in that most European nations now permit medical cannabis access. France, on the other hand, has historically been much more hesitant to reform its medical cannabis policies.

If the French government does not adopt national medical cannabis reform at the conclusion of the experiment, and the pilot program does not receive another extension, medical cannabis patients will have no safe access to their medications. Instead, they will be forced to either go without medical cannabis or obtain their medical cannabis from unregulated sources.

CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal in France, however, many suffering cannabis patients require treatment regimens involving products that have higher levels of THC.

According to data analyzed by the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Tendencies, roughly 10.6% of France’s adult population has consumed cannabis within the last year, and 47.3% have reported using cannabis at least once in their lifetimes.