Spain’s Minister Of Health Says Medical Cannabis Regulations Are On The Way
Spain has long served as a unique home for cannabis public policy. Technically, medical cannabis is prohibited in many instances in Spain, with the nation’s legal medical cannabis industry largely built around research and exports.
Domestic medical cannabis patients are almost always left on the outside looking in and have to resort to unregulated sources for their medicine. Fortunately for patients, medical cannabis is fairly easy to acquire in Spain from private cannabis clubs, however, the situation highlights that Spain’s cannabis model is in desperate need of improvement.
When patients and providers have to operate in an unregulated environment, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty involved and that makes it difficult to keep things going at times. Unregulated industries are ripe for selective enforcement towards providers, and patients may end up buying untested products that are not as ‘clean’ as they could be.
Advocates have pushed for reform in Spain for many years, and yet, success has remained elusive. Medical cannabis patients and industry members were hopeful that 2022 would be the year for a regulation bill to get to the finish line just to see their hopes dashed. Fortunately, the nation’s Minister of Health is signaling that movement is on the way. Per El Planteo:
The Minister of Health of Spain, José Manuel Miñones , announced that before the end of May he will present a report that will allow the regulation of the use of medicinal cannabis in the National Health System (SNS) . The news came after some parliamentarians have claimed the delay in the analysis of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps), whose term ended in 2022.
Miñones also apologized for the delay in his first appearance before the Health Commission of the Lower House. Congress had ruled in favor of regulating medical cannabis in June 2022, and the subcommittee in charge had given Aemps a period of six months to issue recommendations.
What is being proposed is instead of regulating the nation’s private cannabis clubs, patients will be able to legally acquire medical cannabis and products derived from medical cannabis via one of Spain’s licensed pharmacies.
In some countries, such as the United States, pharmacies are not used to dispense medical cannabis outside of a handful of pharmaceutical-grade products. In other countries, such as Germany, pharmacies are used to serve as the backbone of safe access for suffering patients. Whether something meaningful comes out of Spain or not is something that we will all have to wait and see.