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Ukrainian Medical Cannabis Legalization Awaits Presidential Signature

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Lawmakers in Ukraine gave final approval this week to a measure that would legalize cannabis for medical purposes in certain instances. The medical cannabis legalization measure now awaits the signature of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is expected to sign it into law.

Ukraine’s legislative body, the Verkhovna Rada, approved the bill on Thursday with 248 ‘yes’ votes. The favorable vote comes after years of Ukrainian advocates pushing for medical cannabis legalization. Per Kyiv Post:

In the second reading, the Verkhovna Rada voted in favor of legalizing medical cannabis in Ukraine, passing the new law with a total of 248 votes, as reported by People’s Deputy Yaroslav Zheleznyak on Telegram.

The Servant of the People pro-presidential faction cast 178 votes in support of the bill, draft law No. 7457. However, the European Solidarity faction, led by former President Petro Poroshenko, and the Batkivshchyna faction, led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, did not support the document.

Cannabis opponents in the Verkhovna Rada made significant efforts in recent weeks to try to prevent a vote from happening via the classic political tactic of introducing needless amendments to the measure being considered.

The recently passed measure, if signed into law by President Volodymyr Zelensky, would legalize medical cannabis for suffering patients diagnosed with ‘severe illnesses’ and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cannabis is currently classified as a List I substance in Ukraine, and if this new measure becomes law, it will reschedule cannabis to List II. That rescheduling will allow cannabis to be prescribed for medical purposes.

Ukraine’s Agrarian Policy Ministry will regulate the nation’s medical cannabis program along with Ukraine’s Police and State Agency on Medicines. Medical cannabis imports will be permitted, which should help increase the rate at which the nation’s medical cannabis program is operational.

The measure is scheduled to be implemented six months after it receives President Volodymyr Zelensky’s signature.