Spain On The Verge Of Medical Reform But Many Questions Remain
The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party introduced a bill to legalize medical cannabis – but many advocates claim it won’t change the status quo
The home of the cannabis club is now considering medical cannabis reform. A bill to legalize medical use was introduced on May 30.
The legislation intends to create access in hospital pharmacies for a limited number of conditions – and further via prescriptions from medical specialists. Beyond this, it will require medical cannabis patient data to be stored at the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS).
The Spanish Health Commission is currently debating the bill and is scheduled to approve the bill, plus any amendments they make, by June 23. If the legislation gets through this step successfully, the text of the bill will be delivered to the government who is expected to approve it into law by the end of June.
Spain has cannabis clubs that have developed in the grey areas of the law – much like the coffee shops in Spain. However, as advocates point out, this legislation will do little to draw patients into a legal, regulated medical market. For starters, only three health conditions will be approved for medical cannabis. Flower will not be allowed.
This means that the vast majority of patients will still be left in limbo.
Beyond this, there are no calls to revise the current situation regarding local production. Namely, all cannabis produced under EU GMP regulations must still be exported.
As a result, it is unlikely much will change in Spain (for now).
A Basic Holding Action
One of the great ironies about the Spanish situation is that it is a country where there is actually more “freedom” to access flower cannabis than just about any other European country except Holland. Beyond this, the country has one more GMP cultivation license than Germany – but none of this is slated for use by resident Spaniards.
In effect all this new legislation does is create a tiny window for legal medical cannabis treatments that are too expensive to access for most – along with prohibitive medical bureaucracy that will prevent even legitimate patients from seeing a sympathetic doctor.
The bottom line is that the Spanish government is actually doing the minimum necessary to ensure that it keeps in step with its European partners on the medical front while continuing to push not just medical users but the entire recreational industry into the margins.